Before the DSAU10 Start Date

When I was told that I had been offered a place at the Data School; I was so excited that I immediately began the month-long countdown until my starting date. I couldn’t wait to meet the rest of my cohort and all of the amazing people at MIP and the Data School.

Thankfully, we were able to meet the team the week before our starting date during the virtual escape room night. The DSAU10 cohort were introduced and greeted with a very warm welcome. After this, it was time for the Games! I was placed in a team with our newest coach Bethany (who was in quarantine at the time – Hence our team’s name ‘Livin la Vida Lockdown) and members from both DSAU 9 and 10. We finished second overall! and bonded really well together which helped calm my nerves for day one.

The First Week

All my eager waiting finally came to an end as we approached the 2nd of August. Due to the current pandemic situation, we started off our first week working remotely and had our laptops sent to our homes. Our first day consisted of ice breakers, going over the program rundown and IT set up. The day ended with a DSAU10 Welcome Teams Meeting. We shared our first day experiences, assigned winners for the escape room (our team won the best name category!) and had a whole heap of fun sharing our escape room sagas. It definitely made us feel right at home.

The next three days consisted of a crash course in Alteryx Designer with our coach Sean. We were given numerous tool demonstrations, tutorials, and challenges. All of which were to concrete our understanding of the different tools, their purpose, and the scenarios in which we could use them. It completely blew my mind seeing the unique range of tools Alteryx possesses to prep, blend and analyse data. I would have to say my favourite tool had to be either the Dynamic Rename or the Text to Columns. Both tools save so much time when renaming or creating new columns, it’s just so efficient!


Friday Presentation

It really made me wish I knew about Alteryx when I made my application viz. As I had spent hours manually  cleaning and grouping my data. I could have saved so much time by utilising the vast number of tools available in Alteryx. Coincidentally, this was the task for our first Friday presentation.

After an intense 3 days of learning, we were given three and a half hours to enrich our initial applications, I was so nervous for this presentation, as I had learnt so much in the past couple of days. The idea of applying and presenting this knowledge became overwhelming. I didn’t know where to begin and that meant I became a little pressed for time. Thankfully I was able to finish my workflow for my presentation. I would have liked to have  completed a dashboard as well. However, I mistakenly underestimated how long three and a half hours would be, especially since I had only learnt the software three days ago. It was an interesting task, and really helped me understand my strengths; and the areas in which I could improve upon for next week’s presentation. I can’t wait to implement these changes next week!

Overall, the first week has been so intense, fun, excitement packed, I definitely can’t wait to see what the following weeks bring!

Kavita Nand
Author: Kavita Nand