Feedback is the breakfast of champions
In the Data School I have been surrounded by colleagues with some exceptional skills and knowledge. The atmosphere is such that nobody should be afraid to give or receive feedback about their work. Sometimes the coaches have asked us to give feedback to each other, but my advice would be to go beyond this and ask colleagues and coaches for feedback as often as possible.
Get out of your comfort zone
A few years ago I completed a Masters degree in Sports Science. I learnt that you only get really fit with a balance of intense work and less intense work. You can also follow this principle when trying to build your data visualisation skills. My advice is to push yourself out of your comfort zone a few times a week. Try a technique you’ve never tried before, find a new type of data source and don’t be afraid to fail on your first attempt.
Run your own race
The last three years I have run the London marathon, starting from near the front amongst the country’s best club runners. Being surrounded by people pushing towards the same goal as you definitely improves my performance, but you have to be careful to run your own race. If you are too focused on trying to race someone who is in much better shape than you then you won’t fulfil your potential, you will just burn up. At the Data School, my advice is to admire and learn from others but not put yourself down by comparing yourself. We should treat each other as teammates rather than competitors, cheering each other over the line whether we are first, last or somewhere in between. Find your motivation in being the best you can be rather than the best in the class.