The dashboard week is over, and I’m glad I still alive and can write some retrospective here.


I have to admit that dashboard week is the part that worried me the most in the whole training. The main reason is strict time constraint. I’m never a quick person. And I couldn’t imagine how would I be able to complete one challenge per day that normally would take me twice as long at least. And it turned out that I was really under great pressure throughout the week.


Friday’s challenge is the hardest in my opinion. We only have 6 hours to complete the task, and have to present both Thursday’s and Friday’s work together at 3pm. After many days without enough sleep, I honesty felt exhausted. And because I couldn’t identify a story quickly like I did in the previous four days, there was a second that I felt I won’t be able to present anything. Luckily I didn’t give up and finally manage to squeezed some ideas and complete this challenge.


My experience may sound terrible, but I did learn a lot throughout the process. I guess that’s what people said “no pain, no gain”. Here I want to write down some my key takeaway from the dashboard week.


Technical Skills

Everyday there were some parts that allowed me to refresh my technical skills. For example, the first challenge required us to use API to get data. And I’ve also got lots of chances to refresh my memory on those Tableau and Alteryx skills that we’ve leant but haven’t used for a while.


Storytelling with Data

Undoubtedly it’s the most important thing that couldn’t be emphasised enough. It’s pretty easy that you’ll get lost in large amount of data, especially with the topic that you’re not familiar with. With very limit time, the top priority after being given the task is to find something interesting to talk about. Try to find an angle to focus on, dig down into details, and tell a story with the data.


Time Boxing

With very limited time, try not to over complicate your work. If you come up with any ideas, evaluate if it’s feasible within the time given. Also you’ll learn how to give up an idea when it takes much longer then it should be but without results. On our Tuesday’s challenge, I spent too much time on supplementary data, and only started building my viz close to end of the day. But at least I’ve leant valuable lesson through the mistakes I’ve made.


Learn from Each Other and Coaches’ Feedbacks

I really enjoyed our presentation of previous day’s work in each morning, when we can learn from each other’s works and have valuable feedbacks from coaches. It’s very interesting to see how everyone approach the same data in different ways. Even people taking similar approach can have very different ways in building their dashboard. It’s always exciting to find something that I haven’t though about.


Though under great time pressure everyday, I still quite enjoyed all the thinking process, including digging into data and structuring my story. What’s a little pity for me is that I didn’t allocate much time (or any time on the last day) for preparing presentation. Therefore I feel my story-delivering in the presentation could be better.


Anyways, I’m happy that I’ve accomplished this series of challenges. The challenges we had for each day and my daily blogs can be found in the following links:

Dashboard Week Day 1 – Jikan MyAnimeList API

Dashboard Week Day 2 – YouTube Trending Videos

Dashboard Week Day 3 – London Fire Brigade Incident Records

Dashboard Week Day 4 – Legatum Prosperity Index

Dashboard Week Day 5 – FAO Stat Data


Ming-Hsuan Lee
Author: Ming-Hsuan Lee