Six simple steps. That’s all it takes to get into ‘The Data School.’ Well, at least that’s how simple it is on the surface, but there’s a lot more to it, and despite it being a long process, it’s also extremely rewarding. Join me as I talk about my application process and the things I did to become a member of DSAU22.

Step 1. Download Tableau: Tableau is great because you can work either on your web browser or download Tableau Public onto your computer. Then once you connect your data, you can work offline, which is convenient for those with poor internet, or if you want to work when you’re out and about.

Step 2. Get Inspired: For me, inspiration was easy. I’m an avid sports lover, so there’s almost an endless amount of sports data out there, which opens up loads of doors for the direction you want to go with your viz.

Step 3. Find your Data: There are heaps of places you can find your data. I went to Kaggle to find mine. An online community where people upload all sorts of datasets. Some other great websites to find data include the Australian Bureau of Statisticsdata.gov.au, and Research Data Australia.

Step 4. Create your Viz: Unless you have experience in Tableau, I strongly recommend completing some training before delving into a viz. Doing this will save you an immense amount of time when creating your viz because you won’t be clicking around blindly (like I did). I completed approximately 10 hours of training on Data Camp (an online learning platform that requires a subscription) before beginning my first viz, but even then I felt like it wasn’t enough. Completing as much training as you can before applying will benefit you in the long run. Some places you can learn Tableau for free include; the Tableau Starter KitUdemy, and YouTube. Be mindful when using YouTube because although it can be a great place to start learning, it can also lead to clicking around blindly and watching videos without any direction.

Step 5. Share it with us: Once you’ve sent your initial application through, you will receive some feedback, and no matter how good you think your viz is, take this feedback on board

Step 6. The Interview: Well, it’s actually 2 interviews, with your first one being on the viz that you created with your own data, and if successful, a second interview, which is a viz with data that every other successful applicant receives, to keep an even playing field.

My top 5 tips for being a successful applicant:

1. Be prepared to commit lots of time and effort to your application. Throughout the entire application process, from the start to the moment I accepted my job offer, I lost count of how many hours I put in, but if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say probably close to 70 hours. That’s right, SEVENTY hours, all that for the possibility of being rejected. It seems crazy right? But as I learned in my first few days of training, The Data School wants people who are committed and willing to put in the work to become the best data analyst they possibly can be. So, take your time, learn the software (better than I did), and do your best!

2. Take feedback on board. The first viz I submitted, in comparison to my final submission, was absolute rubbish. Alex provided me with some great feedback on my first viz, which actually resulted in me scrapping my initial application and starting from scratch. What I submitted the second time around was infinitely better than my first viz, because I had taken all of the feedback on board and I was able to produce something of much better quality. It also helped to know what the standard of applications was. You can find previous successful applications here.

3. Rehearse your presentation: Although this seems like common sense, I feel like it’s something people can easily brush over. Practice presenting your viz, whether that be to another person, or just reading it out loud to yourself. This way you can begin to develop the story you want to tell with your data, and when you’re in your interview, you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

4. Understand what The Data School’s program consists of. Again, seems like common sense, but I’ve seen people walk into an interview knowing nothing about the job, and it sticks out immediately. So do your research on the company and understand what you’re committing to.

5. Be yourself! The beauty about The Data School is that they’re not necessarily looking for the most technically gifted people to employ. They’re looking for people that have the potential to be great Tableau users, but they’re mainly looking for people they can put in front of their clients to represent the company. You could be the most amazing Tableau user of all time, but if you aren’t yourself during your interview, they’ll see right through it and you may not be successful.

I hope this helps you with your application process and gave you a bit of insight into what’s required of you to become a successful The Data School applicant!

The Data School
Author: The Data School