A long time ago in a county far, far away Neil took a data entry job in the public sector. Not having much experience with data or Excel, he quickly developed a passion for data exploration & transformation. He established himself as That Guy Who Knows Excel. Over the following decade, this prestigious title enabled him to piggyback into various roles and further develop his love for all things data.

Then one day a colleague introduced Neil to Tableau and his life changed forever. He quickly realised that this was the future and became an instant convert – and just like the Good Lord himself, he helped to spread the word to all who would listen.

Presented with the opportunity to attend The Data School and learn from the best guru’s in the world – and he leapt at the chance. Neil hopes that he too can become a data hero when he grows up.

Whilst at The Data School Neil is aiming to consume as much Tableau and Alteryx knowledge as he can and looks forward to discovering the next direction in life.

Did Expectations match Reality?

4 months, I was a giddy kipper having just survived my first week at Data School...in my excitement I wrote this blog outlining what I thought would happen in the following four months. Well now, sadly, this is my last week in the Data School before I have to go and...

#ironviz – Mapping for Victory

When Tableau first launched their 2017 #ironviz competition I was over the moon! A geospatial competition? In Tableau? I'm in! Armed with a little bit of Alteryx spatial processing knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm, I set my challenge; "Map every building, river,...

FML Week: Dashboard #4 – Andy’s Run Data

Final day, final viz, final blog! Andy must have been in an extra pleasant mood as he saved us the pain of doing any Alteryx for this challenge, that alleviated the pressure somewhat. This final challenge was to look at run training data collected by Runkeeper. To be...

Kill me now week: #Dashboard 3 Noncommunicable Diseases

Today actually started pretty good! The challenge Andy set seemed pretty straightforward; download all of the csv files and mush them together and make a dashboard. The first 2 parts went pretty well. Downloading the csv files I started by grabbing a list of all the...

Brain Ache Week: Dashboard #2 International Migrants

Of all the crappy spreadsheet in all the world, Andy had to give us this monstrosity to challenge us. "It'll be easy" he said...hmmmm we'll see. Here's the spreadsheet: An Excel users dream, a Tableau users worst nightmare! A summary of this sh*tty file; the data...

Ultimate Hell Week: Dashboard #1 UK Police Crime Data

The Navy Seals call it Hell Week, Andy calls is Dashboard Week! For this first dashboard of the gruelling dashboard week, Andy Kriebel set us the goal of building an Alteryx app to download data using the API from data.police.uk and have it automatically render a...

Alteryx Macros: Iterative

I'm going to walk through the steps needed to turn your boring old API Download workflow into an exciting Iterative macro! For this example I am going to use one of the API calls from The World Bank: http://api.worldbank.org/countries I have set a very basic Alteryx...

Alteryx Like a Boss!

Here are my top tips for using Alteryx like a true pro (or at least pretending to anyway)... #1 – User Settings Go to Options->User Settings->Edit User Settings Turn off the “Getting Started” window; if you’ve used Alteryx more than once you don’t need this anymore...

Server Lockdown – Tableau Server Roles & Permissions

So you just installed your first Tableau Server....well done you! But now comes the exciting task of establishing what access your users have within the server...ugghhh dull. There is an important distinction to make at the start between Roles and Permissions within...

The Murky World of UK Geography

Having worked in the Public Sector for a very, very, very long time understanding the various geographies of your local area becomes very important. The Public Sector is obsessed with carving up the area they serve into as many different geographies as possibly. This...

Diary of a Data Widow

It’s been one week and three days since I became a full time Data Widow. I say full time because I’ve been a part time Data Widow since I met Neil Lord many years ago. He’s been the same as long as I’ve known him. He gets all starry eyed when he see’s data. Locked on...

Looking back on Week #1

How would I describe the first week at The Data School? I would have to say intense but fun! It was quite overwhelming; lots of new people to meet, lots of information to take in, lots of theory to learn, lots of presentation skills practice (the thing I dread the...

Expectations vs Reality

It’s been a week at The Data School already and it’s flown by quickly, which is good because it means I’m enjoying it. But is it living up to expectations? That’s not easier to answer as I didn’t have any expectations when starting at The Data School, apart from the...

#MakeoverMadness

On Wednesday Andy set us the challenge of making over our Data School application viz, which needed to be presented on Thursday afternoon. This instantly filled me with dread as it took me about 3 days to build my original viz and I was pretty happy with the original,...

Time keeps slipping away

When you're using Tableau time seems to fly by, one minute your just getting started and the next it's late at night and you still have plenty more to do. Yesterday Andy asked us to design a viz based on a data set look at time utilisation, a pretty straightforward...