Halfway there....

by Ellie Mason

DS10 graduated on Friday….we (DS11) are now half way through our DS training journey …. and DS12 start tomorrow…time is flying by!

I thought I’d take a look back through the first part of my DS journey and take note of five things I’ve learnt so far:


Teamwork makes the dream work


Learning with 8 other people in DS11 has been great. So many ideas and helpful suggestions have occurred – both for collaborations in the client projects but also general advice on Alteryx workflows or Tableau vizes. It’s great working together to come up with a solution, or to make all our individual components of a project feel like one set of work. I’m project lead for our client project next week so it will be interesting to see another facet of our group work. I’m looking forward to working as a team in my placements.




At the Data School you quickly get into blogging. I’d never blogged before and after I got over the first one it got a lot easier. It’s also super fun to explore different topics and learn from what your cohort/ other DSers are also writing. I learnt a lot from Tom’s recent post about all the Alteryx secret tips and tricks – like how to make all the tools exactly aligned!


Walk before you can run


This is a training course and whilst it’s a fast paced learning experience – it’s okay to not know how to do everything. I created a macro a couple of weeks ago, that was relatively complex and I spent all week of the client project on it….to find out less than a week later I could have done a similar thing in one tool!

Yes, it was good to do as I now understand batch macros, but it would’ve also been okay to admit defeat and potentially create more useful information.


Magnifying Tool


This is a super useful tool when presenting your work on the big screen. I went to a talk by Andy Cotgreave about the best ways to present data and one of the conclusions was basically that content on a big screen is never big enough for the back of the room! So, therefore, the magnifier tool (holding the windows key and pressing the +/= key) is a very handy tool.


Time pressure can be good and sometimes good enough is good enough


With completing projects in a week, writing regular blogs and even creating vizes, it’s often hard not to agonise over the tiniest of details. But, this can prove detrimental to your progress and can stop you posting a viz or a blog until it’s perfect – often resulting in nothing being posted. Therefore, a lesson I’m still trying to fully apply, is that sometimes good enough is good enough. Completing something to a high enough standard, albeit not perfect, within the time available whilst meeting the aim is good enough. I think that Makeover Monday is definitely a good way to practice this and I aim to start doing more, in the time, over the second half.


I’ll be taking over the Data School twitter on Wednesday, we’re hosting two teaching days the week after and just before Christmas is our Dashboard week so there are lots of exciting things coming up!!

Although, I’m sure the perfectionist in me will want to spend days and days on dashboards!

Fri 01 Feb 2019

Fri 01 Feb 2019

Fri 01 Feb 2019