And We're Off! Week 1 Recap of the Data School

by Andy Kriebel

What an amazing first week at the Data School! To start, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the brilliance of the team. We’re incredibly fortunate to have secured such a talented, diverse bunch. Seeing them progress through the week, making gigantic strides along the way, all I can help think about it how jealous I am of them for not getting an opportunity like this when I first started my career in data. I’m 100% convinced that THIS TEAM is going to have a major impact.

Their week started Tuesday with a class on data visualisation best practices. This is one of my favorite classes to teach because it removes computers and software from the exercise; everything they did was hand-drawn on large sheets of paper with crayons. The benefit of this method is that it helps them focus on creativity and moving fast. In this half-day class, they go through a series of four makeovers, working in pairs to make sense of chart junk I’ve found on the web, and are allotted only 15 minutes for each viz.

Working on a makeover project in pairs

Working on a makeover project in pairs

Their makeovers hang on the wall like art.

Their makeovers hang on the wall like art.

Wednesday was probably a bit over their heads. We had the Data School consultants attend a Tableau Desktop Zen class that Craig Bloodworth and I were running for our larger team. The reason I wanted them to attend this session was to show them some of the things that are possible with Tableau. I’ll repeat this class for them in a few weeks and I bet they get it instantly. Wednesday concluded with an intro to Alteryx by Alteryx Ace Chris Love.

Thursday started with some Tableau fundamentals follow by a practice exam for the Tableau Qualified Associate exam they’ll undertake at the Tableau London conference. Yes, that’s right…in their third week, we’re going to have them ready to pass.

Throughout the week, I allot them time to work on their weekly projects. At the Data School, they’re going to complete a project per week for four months. Week 1 was focused on making over work created by the Information Lab team. We chose visualisations by our team because we wanted them to learn that we were not always good and that we had to start somewhere too. Each consultant had 10 minutes to demonstrate their work and then we provided them additional feedback, both positive and things they could improve. Here’s a peek at their amazing week 1 makeovers (click on any image to go to the interactive version):

Damiana kicked happy hour off with this amazing makeover of one of my older vizzes about the U.S. peace index.

Original work created by Andy Kriebel

Original viz by Andy Kriebel

Damiana's makeover

Damiana’s makeover

Ravi went second, with his makeover of a viz done by Robin Kennedy about police in London.

Original work created by Robin Kennedy

Original viz by Robin Kennedy

Ravi's makeover

Ravi’s makeover

Third up was Alex, who took on this interesting visualization of #1 songs by Carl Allchin.

Original viz created by Carl Allchin

Original viz by Carl Allchin

Alex's makeover

Alex’s makeover

Rounding out the first four was Emily. She had to makeover two vizzes by Craig Bloodworth about UK school expenditures.

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Emily's makeover

Emily’s makeover

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Emily's makeover

Emily’s makeover

Sasha then took on another of Craig’s vizzes, this one was a Twitter analysis of the 2013 TCC EU keynotes.

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Original viz by Craig Bloodworth

Sasha's makeover

Sasha’s makeover

Pablo was next up, taking a whack at this terrible work of mine about U.S. birth rates using story points to do a deeper analysis and find some interesting tidbits.

Original viz by Andy Kriebel

Original viz by Andy Kriebel

Pablo's makeover

Pablo’s makeover

Pablo's makeover

Pablo’s makeover

Another one of my terrible vizzes was taken to task by Hashu, this one was about the Tea Party in the U.S.

Original viz by Andy Kriebel

Original viz by Andy Kriebel

Hashu's makeover

Hashu’s makeover

Last, but certainly not least, was Nicco, who had the unenviable task of dissecting three complicated vizzes by Chris Love about food hygiene ratings.

Original viz by Chris Love

Original viz by Chris Love

Nicco's makeover

Nicco’s makeover

Original viz by Chris Love

Original viz by Chris Love

Nicco's makeover

Nicco’s makeover

Original viz by Chris Love

Original viz by Chris Love

Nicco's makeover

Nicco’s makeover

As you can see, this is pretty amazing work for people that have only been using Tableau for a few days. Each week at 3pm London time, we’ll be broadcasting their presentations live. You can join in here. The only exceptions will be week when we’re doing work for clients.

If you’re interested in the Data School consultants doing a projects for your company for a week, reach out to me. The price can’t be beat (free!!) as long as you provide the data and some of your time.

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Andy Kriebel

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