1. Research company

Before meeting the client on Monday morning, do a little research into the company over the weekend. Try to have a basic understanding of what the company does, where their offices are, who the key people are, and whether they have been in the news recently (takeovers/merges/share price etc.) You aren’t expected to know the company inside-out but it puts you in a much stronger position when you hear the brief and get the data on Monday morning.

2. Ask as many questions as you need on Monday morning

Monday morning is a vital point to ask questions relating to the brief and data,  but also about the client’s business as a whole, what the key metrics are, specific branding, are there any potential problems with the data, whether anyone has worked with the data before, who the end user(s) will be, and how can we improve what you are doing at the moment. Clients will vary in the amount of time they can give to you throughout the week so ask any questions that you have whilst you are in the room with them on Monday.

3. Scoping is Key

Managing the client’s expectations about what you can realistically achieve within the week is so important, you don’t want to over promise and under deliver! It is definitely a skill that you will get better with more experience, Carl and Andy will be there to help you with this in the beginning. You will all have different ideas about the amazing dashboards you can create but this is directly proportional to the data and the time you have to work on the project. Once you have seen the data you will then have a better idea about what is realistic, throughout the week you are very likely to come across difficulties with the data and have to rescope… and then rescope again!

4. Discuss Ideas and Get Feedback on Your Dashboards

Although you will be working in pairs or individually it’s still a team project so make sure you discuss your ideas with the team and your Project Manager.  The scope of the project will change throughout the week so use your team to get feedback on your new/amended ideas and anyone else who is in the Data School. You also want your dashboards to look consistent across the team so discussing formatting, specific colour palettes and layout seems basic but is well worth doing.

5. Practice your presentation

On the Friday afternoon you will present the project to your client. Up to this date you would have only been presenting to Carl and Andy and anyone else from TIL who is around, so it’s normal to be a bit nervous. The best way to get over the nerves is to practice! If you are presenting in pairs then practice with your partner, ensure that the handover is smooth and see whether it works better to have one of you navigating the dashboard whilst the other presents.

Finally- SMILE and be proud of the work you have produced! It’s a great eye opener for you into life as a consultant but also a great opportunity to show off what you can achieve on an individual level and as a team!