Sixteen weeks at the Data School Down Under have absolutely flown by! I still remember the first day of training, feeling excited and overwhelmed at the same time; excited about the new opportunity and overwhelmed about the challenges I could face in this new world of data science.
Alteryx and Tableau are the two main tools you’ll be playing with while you’re at the DS. Prior to starting the training, most of our cohort had some experience with Tableau and little or no experience with Alteryx. But having the best of coaches to teach and guide you makes learning easier. And, I must say the first two weeks had an incredibly steep learning curve! At DS you’ll never get bored and that’s because of the variety of work that you’ll be doing. From learning new tools to client projects, challenges, exams, blog writing, weekly presentations, teaching weeks, dashboard week and attending amazing conferences, user groups and socials! The training is different from going to a college/university as you’ll be putting the learning straight into practice with real business problems from the various client projects.
Sixteen weeks at the DS will not only empower you with the practical knowledge of two great tools but also on how to present your work done using those tools to clients. PK from MIP is your go-to coach for presentation skills. He’s the Master of It. Every Friday 3 pm at DS is presentation time. On client project weeks, we present our final work to the clients and on non-client weeks we are given a project on Friday morning to be presented at 3. After delivering, we are provided with feedback. On non-client days the feedback given by our coach and teammates is not just on our work but also on our presentation skills and how we could improve/get better at it. We all took these feedback as a constructive criticism and it felt rewarding.
Writing blogs is an essential part of the training at DS. It is also a great way to either document your learning or learn something new as part of writing a blog. I have found myself many a times referencing to blogs from previous cohorts (UK n AU) during the training especially before taking the Tableau and Alteryx certification exams. I always start my preparation by reading about the exam requirements and if possible, experiences of those who’ve already taken it. I have enjoyed writing blogs while at the DS (14 in total). You could read all my blogs here.
I’ve had the pleasure to work with the best team. Everyone at DSAU3 has been very helpful and supportive. They’ve been great at giving feedback and taking one as well. We’ve shared laughs, challenges, meeting client deadlines and a few drinks together!
Tips for future cohorts
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is silly.
- During the first month the pace of the training may feel overwhelming. Take plenty of notes and don’t forget to go over them and the exercises at the end of the day.
- If you can’t catch up with the pace during the training, follow the instructions in the book (yes, you’ll get two books each for Alteryx and Tableau).
- Organize the folders in your computer well. Name your workflows/dashboards clearly so that when you need to go back to them you find them easily.
- Don’t forget to keep working on your Tableau public profile. One good way of doing that is by participating in Makeover Monday.
- And don’t forget to blog your learning. You never know how useful it could be to someone.
- Training at DS is intensive. But still, do not forget to enjoy Take each day as it comes. Build a great rapport with your teammates, they’ll end up being your friends.
In a weeks’ time we all will begin with our first placement. I’m looking forward to what it has in store for me.
View my Tableau public profile here.
If you wish to apply for the Data School Australia, follow this link.