If you are reading this, chances are you are interested in applying to The Data School Down Under. You might be unsure about applying because:

  • You don’t have a background in IT, data, computer science, engineering, or mathematics (like me).
  • You may not have touched an excel spreadsheet before or used any of its functions (again, like me).
  • Or you may have not used the Tableau app before (also me).
  • You don’t know where to begin (just like I did).

If you can relate to anything I have listed, I can assure you that you might still have what it takes to enter the next Data School cohort and become a Data Analyst.

Before joining The Data School, my work experiences only consisted of hospitality and customer service roles. And if you had told me a year ago that I would be on the path to becoming a Data Analyst I would have dismissed it. I did not fathom I would have the skills and knowledge to do so. But The Data School offers to train and teach you the necessary skills and knowledge to become an effective Data Analyst. So give it a go and you may surprise yourself.

Where do I even start?

You can find posts about the application experiences of previous applicants.

Here are my 3 tips that you may find useful in your application if you do not have a background in dealing with data:

1. Find data on a topic that interests you

The initial application process requires you to submit a Tableau dashboard on and present your findings. You may find it easier to dig into the data, make a viz, and present insights on a subject you are passionate about. A quick Google search will no doubt reveal datasets for your topic. After finding your data, feel free to upload it into Tableau and play around. Follow the Tableau Starter Kit to get started or watch some Youtube videos if you get stuck.

2. Find insights

When you look into your data and create your viz, see if there are any questions to answer or if there is a story to tell. The Data School are looking to see if you are curious. Dig deep into the data. Ask “Why?”. If you’re still not sure about how to tell or find a story, Google or ask anyone from The Data School for help. I found inspiration through 2021’s Iron Viz winner, Lisa Trescott.

3. Submit it early

When you submit your application a coach or Data Analyst Consultant from The Data School will email you and provide feedback. Use that feedback to improve your application. You can ask them any questions and concerns you may have for your application as well. By submitting earlier, you will have more chances to improve your application even further and take your skills to the next level.

Bonus tip: Practice your presentation

If you’re a nervous presenter, practicing will help with your nerves. It is a necessary skill as a Data Analyst to present and communicate so practice, practice, practice!

At this point you should congratulate yourself for your hard efforts. You are one step closer to being a Data Analyst! If you make it through the initial and final interview stages then congratulations on making it into the cohort!

However, if you don’t make it through, then be proud that you have acquired some skills and experienced some growth! You would have learnt some Tableau, presentation and research skills. Those are skills you would not have had prior to applying.

And should you wish to do so, you can always apply to join The Data School again in the next round (like I did).

If you would like to contact me, please feel free to connect with and message me over at LinkedIn.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Andrew Ho
Author: Andrew Ho