The first three weeks at the Data School has flown by! I have learnt tons, learnt a bit more, met a lot of great people and had lots of fun. For this blog post I thought it would be good to take a step back and reflect on my first few weeks at the Data School. I will write a bit about the training, the people, the facilities and what I am looking forward to in the near future.
The first three weeks of training has been quite hectic as we’ve been introduced to a lot of new information and data analytics tools. The first week was all about learning Alteryx, a powerful data analytics software that is used for data prep, predictive and spatial analysis, and much more. Most data sets need preparation and cleaning as the raw data can often be messy and hard to interpret. Alteryx is perfect for this job. The second week was all about Tableau. We got to brush up on the Tableau skills that we learnt through the Data School application process, but it did not take long until we delved into more advanced topics. This week we’ve been introduced to more advanced Alteryx skills like spatial analytics, macros and the use of APIs. It’s been very satisfying to learn the whole process from downloading data using APIs, cleaning and making sense of the data, and then visualising it in Tableau. The Alteryx-Tableau combo is a true dream-team and I cannot wait to learn more!
Every Friday is ‘Project Day’ where we’re given a challenge based on the topic(s) of the week. We must come up with a solution and present it to the rest of the Data School at the end of the day. Even though it can be stressful, it is a great way to practice what we’ve learnt during the week and improve our time-management and presentation skills. I really love that we are being pushed out of our comfort zones and I think we will have grown a lot when the training.
The people at the Data School are amazing. First of all, I have been very lucky with the people in my cohort. We are a very diverse group with many different backgrounds and nationalities. Out of 8 people, we have 6 different nationalities in our group (China, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Bangladesh, Norway), with backgrounds within accounting, finance, engineering, biology and computer science. This is truly unique, and I think is one of the reasons that makes the Data School so successful. I doubt you can find a workplace with a more diverse and fun group of people. Everyone has different strengths and knowledge and we learn a lot from each other.
It is also worth mentioning that the Data School has a very social and inclusive culture. Every Friday after we’ve presented our projects, we have drinks and socialise in the office – a perfect way to end the week.
The Data School’s office is located in the heart of CBD with plenty of food courts and cafes in close vicinity. There is a food court in the same building so if you’re lazy there are plenty of options only an elevator-ride away. The office space itself is nice and modern. Our cohort has our own room for all the training, but all the fully trained Data School consultants are sitting in the office space just outside. This is great as there is always someone to ask if you have a question or someone to chat with if you want to have a break from the data world.
What the Future Holds
In the few days leading up to the Christmas break, we are going to delve deeper into Alteryx and learn more about the analytics capabilities of Tableau, including LODs and advanced calculations. Shortly after the Christmas-break over, we will start with Client Projects which I am really looking forward to. Each week for 6 weeks, we will help a new client with their data problems and present the solution to them at the end of each week. I am really looking forward to this as we’ll get to use what we learnt in a real setting as well as testing our teamwork and project management skills.
To wrap it up, the three first weeks at the Data School have been great. I have already learnt an immense amount and I’ve made great friends. Hopefully, the next 13 weeks will not go by as quickly as I am really enjoying my experience. If you are thinking about applying, I can assure you it will be well worth it. The Data School is a truly unique opportunity that I don’t think you can find anywhere else!