My First 'Dashboard Week' Day

by Aude Cazein

This is my first day doing the famous Dashboard week with my fellows DS12… and the least I can say is that it is a great exercise to see how bad I am at time managing… !


So it is 9.45AM and is it the starting point for us. The challenge for today is to create a data set from a website, with a list of record of Marathon finishers, with their names, finishing time and finisher number.

It is fair to warm you now, this is a rant-article! I have been falling into many traps that Carl and Andy have warned us not to fall into. I am raging against myself. I guess this is also the downside of not having being part of yesterday’s exercise: people have had time to spot their mistakes throughout the day and change their strategy. Hopefully, tomorrow will prove better…!


So what have I done today?

The first challenge is to create the data set, and I must say I got lost into Alteryx for a while, before I actually managed to get something from the website. Which reminds me that I need to go back to regularly do some Weekly challenges to improve my knowledge of the tool – I have been focusing on Tableau a little too much recently I must admit.

Once we have it, it is quite a basic data set and yet, simplicity doesn’t work well for me apparently. I dream of analytics and storytelling, with funny little details that my viz could highlight! I would love to be able to find the complementary data set that will bring a highlight or a context to my simple data, and soon… the day has passed, and I have nothing. 4 PM and I am still looking for something to add on Alteryx, while the rest of DS12 must probably be focusing on layout, design and tool tips.

I would love to plot my people into a map, but I lost time to find an actual solution to do it properly, then figured I could try to figure out who those strangers and link them with the data set but there were actually hundreds of names, and even with a whole day only dedicated to search them, it would have been a nightmare to collect their data and add them up.

I wanted to compare with other races then, but it didn’t make any value to do that, so another idea that I eventually dropped.

Eventually, I came up with a quite basic dashboard, with a scatter plot and an evolution over time, that could let us think that some performance might not only be the fruit of effort.


My daily self assessment:


  • What to keep doing for the next time: Music listening and sketching – help concentration and focus
  • What to improve: Time boxing. It was on my to do list after the last 1:1 with Andy, but I must say I miserably failed today. But I will improve,it is a matter of time. This morning, Tom has mentioning the Pomodoro technique, a techniques that makes you live at the rhythm of a timer, work hard, pause a lot. I remember using it when I was at the University, I will give it a try tomorrow.
  • What to stop doing: Stop dreaming of the impossible and not finish anything. It is necessary now to set up a time in the day, and from that moment, focus on building the main feature first ! Bonuses must remain bonuses that we do ON TOP of something else. It is the cherry on the top of the cake, but make the cake first. Otherwise, you end up with plenty of ideas that evolved into dead ends and nothing else to show…

Overall, that experience is interesting because it forces me into facing one of my biggest weakness, so I will try different techniques this week and see what actually works for me. Wish me luck !

Thu 28 Feb 2019

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Wed 12 Dec 2018

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