Today is the last day of our four months training at the Data School, and next week we are all going to our first placement. For me it feels both sad and excited. Sad because we will no longer sitting in the same room learning and working together. Excited because we are going to be a data analytics consultant in “real world” with new and unknown challenges.
Looking back this intense and enjoyable 16-week training, I realised how much I have improved in both technical and soft skills. In my last blog before starting my first placement, I want to reflect on my key takeaways at the Data School.
Alteryx and Tableau are our main focuses in the training. Starting with only limited knowledge in both tools, now I feel much more confident in using them to do more advanced data analysis. I’m also happy that I’ve got both my Alteryx Advanced Certification and Tableau Data Analyst Certification in 8 weeks.
In addition to Alteryx and Tableau, we’ve also learnt techniques such as Power BI, SQL, data modelling, project management, and more. As a person coming from non-IT background, most of them are new to me. Learning these tools has broaden my skillset and made me more capable to be an analytics consultant.
Dashboard Design and Storytelling
We’ve learnt about the best practice of visualisation. This includes the selection of chart types, colours, etc. While some visualisation might look attractive and fancy, we’ve been always reminded by the coaches to think about the best way to show your insights and story.
Speaking of story, this is probably one thing that couldn’t be emphasised enough. We’ve learnt how to transform data into meaningful insights and display in visualisation. We’ve learnt how to dig into data and find interesting story, instead of just building a report dashboard.
Moreover, I also learnt that a good dashboard is one that is easy to use and understand without author’s explanation. Before I used to make my dashboard “overcleaned” so it’s hard for user to navigate. Now I know that an ideal dashboard should be self-explanatory with logic and flow that are easy for users to follow.
It’s important to articulate yourself and effectively deliver your insight to the audience, and that’s why presentation skills is another focus throughout our training. After 16 weeks of practice, I do find myself much more confident and less nervous when talking on the stage. This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel any nervousness before presentation. It’s more like I know I can get this done even I feel a little bit nervous.
Presentation skills session is extremely useful for me, where we learnt how to structure and organise our presentation. In addition, critiquing ourselves through watching recorded presentation is not the most enjoyable part but definitely helpful for understanding what we have done well and what need to be improved.
Overall, the four months training is really valuable for me. I want to thank all our coaches and MIP staff for being our strongest support along the way, as well as my fellow cohort for helping each other and making all the fun moments. The end of training is not the end of learning. There are always new things to learn and never stop learning is something I try to always keep in mind. Now it’s time to leave the nest and put what we have learnt into practice!