Not long after I took the position as Head Coach for The Data School Down Under I found myself on a plane as heading to London and then on to 33 Cannon St, to hang out with Head Coach Andy Kriebel and The Data School cohort No. 8, a.k.a #DS8.

I arrived at the start of week 12 of the 16 week training component of the DS8 programme.  Week 12 was a Client project week – and things got off and racing real quick.

I got a good insight on how a Client project week works, including the lead-up process, where Andy and the nominated project lead (each of the DS’ers have a turn at being Project Lead during the programme), have a video call with the client, and set the week up for success – including defining the brief, organizing data, and booking in kick-off, check-ins and presentations.

I saw how the Monday morning commences with a ‘Project Kick-off’ meeting where the Client rep (in this case the CTO of a Sports Betting company) outlined the business problem/opportunities; gave an overview of the current state; and a tour of the existing datasets.  It was great to see lots of questions and clarifications, and prioritisation discussions.

After the client left, the team have a get-together and undertake a planning and task allocation session before they get going with any data discovery, data prep or dashboard development.

An interesting thing i learnt about the week was that it wasn’t spent full time on the project. The students actually had training sessions during the mornings on a variety of topics, if they were lucky,  that they could immediately implement into their project solutions.

As the week progressed I was amazed by the professionalism and skills of the crew, including their daily stand-ups, the way they self-organised, and the quality of their work.

The Daily stand-up always starts with a bad joke!

I wasn’t the only one.  When the client came back on Friday afternoon, and the students presented their Tableau dashboards, he was blown away.  “I’m so impressed how polished it all looks, and how quick you put it all together.  I can’t wait to show this to the management team!”

There is no better way to finish a big week of project work and learning than to crack open the bar fridge and have a few celebratory beverages with a happy client! and maybe even a game of table tennis.

Craig Dewar
Author: Craig Dewar