Today is cohort five’s final day of training, and our final agenda like all data schoolers is to write a reflection on our 4 months of training. In a world currently filled with uncertainty, I am thrilled to say that my time training was the best decision I’ve ever made, not only for all the technical and soft skills that we have learnt along the way, but because of the bonds that we share. In today’s blog, I want to summarize everything we learnt at the data school to give you the insight on how amazing the program really is.
What We Learnt:
The major focus of the data school is creating experts in Alteryx and Tableau. Over the first month, we did exactly this, with a special shout out to Pete, who zoomed us through the Alteryx and Tableau courses. We then took a break from this intense technical / design skill, and started training in our soft and general data skills, including SQL, Presentation Skills, Project Management and Data Governance. These skills were particularly important for our upcoming client projects, where we learnt how to quickly understand business problems and data, and work in a team to produce concept solutions. As part of this training, we each had a chance to be project lead, which was an invaluable experience in learning how to manage a project.
As the client projects started to roll in, the majority of the teachings were then about how we would solve common requirements that were asked of us, including working with Alteryx Macros, Tableau Server, working with Survey Data, Predictive Analytics, Data Modelling, Webscraping, Requirements Gathering, Analytic Apps, Alteryx Server, Google Analytics, PowerBI training, Consulting Skills and Mapbox. Did I mention we did more specific Tableau training such as data blending and time series analysis, with 7 client projects, and the infamous DASHBOARD WEEK!
You can see that during our 4 months of training, we covered off a whole list of topics, usually consisting of half-day sessions, meaning that we have just touched the surface which is a very exciting thought, with our future placements to help consolidate these teachings and help us implement them to even more business problems. 4 months ago, I would have never imagined having all this knowledge, but at present day I’m certified in Tableau and Alteryx, and started independent study to be a citizen data scientist.
The Biggest Lessons and Advice on the Training Journey
For anybody considering applying for the Data School, or undertaking this training journey, my first advice would be to get engaged with the Alteryx and Tableau community. There are many free resources out there that can help expand your horizon to the capabilities of Alteryx and Tableau.
My second biggest takeaway come in time management and presentation skills. You quite quickly learn at the data school that time will always be your biggest constraint, but as you practice you get much faster with the technical details. And this practice will also be your best friend when it comes to presentation skills, as I wrote about in a previous blog.
The third lesson we learnt is that collaboration is not always a simple task (especially in the cyber world), but this will ultimately deliver the best results when it is done successfully. My advice during this time would be to keep videos calls open throughout the day, or at the very least to have regular meetings in order to touch base with how the work is progressing.
My Favorite Experiences
Life at the data school requires long hours consolidating what you have learnt throughout the week (especially for somebody like me not having an IT background), as well as some after-hours working on projects, but these were some of my favorite times. Feeling the pressure but having the supportive, equally stressed but optimistic friends surrounding you makes the experience the icing on the cake.
MIP and Data School know how to party, whether it will a weekly Friday drinks, or traditional functions, and that is a testament to the culture that is built, which everybody sharing common interests but it all coming together from a multitude of backgrounds. While we have loads of fun, the culture extends to the classroom, feeling very supported and been given amazing feedback to help improve our skills.
Excursions / Special Guests
Cohort 5 were lucky enough to attend Alteryx Inspire in Sydney, and this was a great 2 days of seeing the community and Alteryx in action. While Inspire was the major excursion, we also had a whole lot of opportunities to network and to see the data world surrounding us.
To summarize, I loved the time I spent training at the data school because of the culture and the teachings. If you are asking yourself whether you should go through the unique application program, my advice is 100% give it your best shot and even if you fall short, the analytics career is just so interesting and powerful that you will not regret your decision.
I want to take the time to publicly thank the Data School and MIP for this amazing experience, and I want to thank my fellow cohort 5 members for making everyday a joy to go to work.