When we finally finished our first week in the data school, there were so many things to share with people who were wondering if they should apply for the Data School. This is a similar situation I experienced 140 days ago. Please allow me to bring you through the whole journey:

About the Decision making and process to attend the Data School:

First, a little information about myself: I was a data analyst and just came to Australia for 2 years and had not been working during this period. I saw the Job description on Seek and was wondering if that was a good opportunity. I mean, they said they will train you for 4 months and allow you to join different kinds of clients and in the meantime, they will even pay you. It sounded too good to be true for a new immigrant. So I called Craig Dewar, the main coach, and talked to a few people in the Data School to more information:

The Data school will give successful applicants 4 months of training with payment. After that, they will be sent to different clients or do inner projects and the data schooler must commit themselves to the data school for two years.

What attracted me the most is the quality training they provide which is not just for the first 4-month, they also support you during the two-year shifts from both coaches and other multi-background colleagues.

I had been through three stages of the application process. At first, I applied for the data school by sending an insightful and nice Tableau Viz. Then I received an online interview from the coaches. The third stage was to analyze and visualize the data set the school sent us and present them in front of the Data school board.

I remember the day I got the confirming call from Craig I was overjoyed. It worth 2 months of preparation for the data school!

About the two months of lockdown:

We were meant to start the job in early April, however, the start day was postponed to June because of the COVID-19. During the two-month lockdown, The Data School still contacted us. We had online catch-ups with coaches every week, and also an online meetup with the last cohort. There was the opportunity to join Friday night and the Trivial quiz to have some fun with the entire company. Although we were postponed for two months, we were lucky to gain some insight into the culture of the company previously.

Craig Dewar, the main coach of Data School Down Under

Friday night is quite fun. Usually,  they have some drinks and chat in the Data School office every Friday. During the COVID-19, it is online and you can meet everyone not only people from the Australian branch but also colleagues in England. One of the special topics is ‘The Trivial night’. We all built a group of 4 people to join the game. PK set up the questions and we discussed them in our group. We all had great fun because some of the answers were hilarious. Believe it or not, some answers were scored for its fun and creativity. Also, partly because the winning team would get good cash at the end!

 

About the first week at data school:

Although I was warned by the last cohort that the training will be very intense, I was still shocked by the agenda. You can see there are several types of training including in 16 weeks agenda: Green for Introduction, Blue for Alteryx, Yellow for Tableau, Purple for Client Project. We also going to learn about Presentation skills which I am highly looking forward to.

The agenda of Training

The agenda of Training

We will also have some special Guest speakers every week to give us insights into different perspectives of Data analysis. The first week we had JJ Philips, the Country Manager of Alteryx, to give us more information about why Alteryx is the best choice for data preparation.

JJ Philips JJ Philips Presentation

The training in the first week was quite intense, for none of us study Alteryx previously. We even rushed lunch and drinks to save more time for practicing. However, after just 3 days of lessons and challenging exercise, we all found we are quite confident with preparing data using Alteryx. At the end of the first week, we were even able to give a presentation based on how to improve efficiency using Alteryx in preparing data.

 

Leona Lai
Author: Leona Lai