If I walked this path again

by Daniel Watt


Part of reflecting in the New Year is looking back at what you would have done differently. I’m certain that I made the right choice in joining the Data School and have really enjoyed my time so far. If I had the chance to repeat the last few months, however, there are a few things I would do different.

Spend more time preparing presentations

Every Friday at Data School we present either as part of a group project or something we’ve been working on individually. I’m not stranger to public speaking, in fact I’ve won competitions for humorous speeches and performed in front of some large crowds. I feel my presentations at the Data School have not been as slick or engaging as they should be. This I believe is down to a lack of preparation. My audience and myself would benefit if I prioritised my presentations – putting more time into planning and practising.

Digest a varied diet

I commute in from Tunbridge Wells so I have plenty of time to read and  listen to podcasts. I took the opportunity to read some data visualisation books in this time and listen to couple of podcasts. If I could rewind the last three months, however, I would take the opportunity to increase and vary my intake. Having a look at viz of the day each day as well as some more conceptual blogs would be a good inspiration to start another day of Tableau and Alteryx training. Without this, its easy to fall into the habit of producing the same charts each week.

Do it public more often

I have started a few dashboards with the aim of publishing on Tableau Public but only published a handful of them in my time here. I have lots of ideas for vizzes that never quite get to a publishable state. Often the process of collecting the data takes a lot longer than I anticipated and I completely lose momentum. As a father of a one year old and a dedicated marathon runner I have little free time to pursue this outside of work, so I need to be more  ruthless and focus when I do have time. I should even consider using pre-published data sets rather than scraping the web for data every time!



Daniel Watt