Final week of training at the Data School Down Under done and the next stage about to begin. I am excited and a little bit nervous to be starting at Lendlease where I will be for the first six-month placement. Much like when I first started the training I am not exactly sure what to expect but I am sure that I will learn a lot. But before that I want to look back at the sixteen weeks that have lead up to this point and give some advice for any future Data Schoolers.
I have always been interested in data and analytics. However, if you had asked me a few months prior to starting that I would be in this field I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I had spent so much time studying to be engineer, that I would be doing that instead. But I wouldn’t change my choice even if given the chance. I began that first day almost sixteen weeks ago now with no knowledge of Alteryx and just scratching the surface of Tableau. The coming weeks were intense training where we built a solid foundation for us to build onto for the program.
What I Learnt
Over the training I have learnt so much that it is hard to sum it all up in a blog. But a quick summary will have to do. We began with Alteryx, a program I took a shine to. I picked it up quickly and wanted to learn more after every session. We learnt how to do Macros, API’s and a variety of other useful things. For Tableau we learnt about how humans perceive things. The best practices of data visualization and the numerous ways you can do things in Tableau. While these two pieces of software were the focus. We also touched on Databases, data modeling and warehousing. Just enough to get by and understand the requirements
The Soft Skills
For me the technical side of things was never a problem. I always struggled with presentations and my ability to network. This is where the Data School really shinned. Having to constantly present work in the training really helps get rid of the nerves I used to have. No other course I have done has anything close to this. Then comes the client projects which take this even further and had us do projects for real clients and actual data. Letting each of us take the role of project lead. On top of this we had many workshops on skills like getting requirements, how to interact with clients and agile methodology.
What makes this learning process truly great is the people. Our head Coach Craig Dewar making all the lessons enjoyable and interesting, while keeping a relaxed mood to what is an intense time. Peter Goldsworthy who did the initial training. To the numerous people from MIP who have come over to take sessions on particular areas. Along with a variety of guest speakers.
Advice For Future Data Schoolers
My main bit of advice is to just embrace it. You might be put out of your comfort zone but to try to just roll with it. Because if you do you will be improving yourself and getting the most out of this once in a life time opportunity. Following this try not to do the same things. You might be tempted to always do the things your best at. I was guilty of this for parts of the training often focusing on Alteryx side of things. Try to opt for the things you are struggling with the most as you will learn far more.