With the blink of an eye, the second Data School Down Under (DSAU2) cohort is now 75% through their first four months of training.

Wow! It’s crazy how time flies when you’re having fun! I’ve been focusing more on technical blog posts so far so I’ve decided to use this chance to reflect back on my data and Data School journey before moving into my last month of training.

The Data School Down Under

I knew about the Data School Down Under from an extremely reliable source – an alumnus of The Data School in the UK (Elnisa Marques). Having the fortune of seeing Nisa at work, when pondering my next career steps and deciding whether to apply for DSDU, I thought about how knowledgeable, experienced and humble Nisa is and knew DSDU was a golden place to be.

I’m grateful to have personalised training and support from some of the best in the data space, with training topics varying from data modeling, machine learning, Tableau date calculations, to Alteryx server permissions. I’m also grateful to have the most awesome cohort work hard and play hard (table tennis) with – each with their own unique strengths and experiences to bring to the table.


Hardly a foreigner to Tableau Desktop, I was already a Tableau Qualified Associate prior to applying for The Data School Down Under. In fact, I remember being asked during the interview process, “If you’re already certified then what are you doing here?”. Although my earlier certification meant I had a head start in Tableau compared to my cohort, I firmly believe there’s always more to learn and something to learn from everyone, and this has definitely proven true in the last 3 months.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the weekly Friday projects involving creating and presenting a dashboard within a timeframe, the deep dive lessons on various Tableau topics ranging from containers to Tableau permissions, and finding peers to discuss and complete MakeOverMonday together challenges with.

A big highlight has been using Alteryx to enhance my spatial visualisations and create visualisations I didn’t think possible. Now that I know how to scrape and plot any geographical point on Alteryx, it feels like my Tableau potential has been even more enhanced.


With only a solid hours worth of Alteryx experience prior to The Data School Down Under, Alteryx was relatively unknown territory for me. Within the first 2 weeks, we were invited to the Sydney Alteryx User Group. I remember being amazed at the presentations and taking mental notes on how to pass the Alteryx Designer Core exam. Little did I expect that within 3 months, I would have not only completed my Designer Core exam. Realising that the training I received from The Data School Down Under was significantly more intense than the core exam, I decided to attempt the advanced exam too and benchmark myself… and I passed! Alteryx has been a dark horse, surprising me with how much I enjoyed completed the weekly Alteryx challenges. I used to say I’m a Tableau person but now that I know how to use Alteryx, honestly, my heart has been swayed.

Client Projects

During the training period, each cohort will have 7 client projects in which they have less than a week to deliver a solution(s). I say less than a week because after the client briefing on Monday morning, we would literally lose half the day of each day to training (e.g. Tuesday morning there’s training), leaving us with ~20 hours of actual working time to complete everything from research, data preparation, data analysis, concept proposal, data visualisation, storyboarding, and dry running the presentation. It’s intense!

I love how we get to work with real-life business scenarios, messy and massive datasets, and clients from a broad spectrum of industries. I especially love the space for feedback from the clients and the trainers at the end of each project to help us improve project on project.

That’s it for my 75% of training completed milestone reflection and check in. I’m looking forward to the last month of training before we head out to our client placements.

Pris Lam
Author: Pris Lam