First Week Recap

by Elena Caric

First week of DS6 is behind us. It was an interesting experience in more ways than one. It was a full-on week that’s for sure. Indeed, it is true what previous DS schoolers were claiming: exciting, challenging, intense but also very fun. The DS6 team is a fun and extremely talented bunch, their drive to learn is a big motivator for me to up my game and be the best that I can.

We started off our week with some visualisation best practices and did an exercise to visualise only 2 numbers in as many as we can. Then we dived in analysing a Tate Modern dataset with an aim to show the museum’s story. The catch was creating a whole analysis and presenting a final dashboard in 40 minutes. We weren’t used to the limited time limit and I can say was the biggest challenge for everyone in the team.

We made it in time to take notes from David Krupp’s presentation. These are a few things I’d like to single out from it. A useful tip is to have User Empathy –  putting yourself in your audience’s shoes when analysing and presenting. Another tip is to be mindful of every element in your dashboard to reduce clutter. Viewing elements on a dashboard from a cost-benefit perspective is a tip I find most helpful as I often find myself needing to edit some information out.

On Day 2 Andy covered lots of topics from file types, Tableau products, the interface, and moved on to chart types. The first and most important tip to learn about Tableau is the right click, the magic solution for many problems.

Day 3 we had Caroline Beavon her about infographics, her area of expertise. She was very helpful in providing design tips like the use of capital titles, big numbers and colours when creating visuals. Another interesting and extremely helpful brainstorming technique is “The Grid”. Essentially, it any blank paper divided in 4 or more squares where you can draw your ideas. It’s a fantastic way to see your ideas, helping you pick what you believe would work best.

Caroline introduced Piktochart to us, a tool she uses to create infographics. Trying Piktochart, I found it to be interesting and filled with fun things I wanted to try out. It can come in handy showing data in an infographic style.

For the fourth and fifth day, we had a marathon! Maybe one the best ways to learn something is to figure it out yourself instead of being told how it’s done. Andy would have the team reconstruct an analysis just by seeing the result. This will be one of the main ways we will be learning how to do things in Tableau and Alteryx.

Makeover Monday post coming in soon!