A few weeks into the training at the Data School, my fellow cohortians and I had to take the Alteryx Core Exam, and only some of us passed. I was not among them.
We were warned, though, many people need to re-sit the test, so I decided to not stress too much about it and, as suggested by our trainers, I took it as an opportunity to learn more about my understanding of the software.
I was prepared to the possibility of failing it, so I was ready to take notes during the test and ended filling up a few pages that I intend to use as a backbone guidance for the review. From the notes, it appears that I need to focus on reviewing certain tools and, mostly, I really need to get a grip of how to pivot a table without too many “let’s try this and see what returns”.
I also noticed that the questions where I spent too much time where about some little details of the configuration panel in different tools, because I really had to try them out more than once since I never used them. I believe I got maybe too comfortable with a few tools and configurations, and I ended up reusing the same ones over and over. At the same time, though, it has been interesting to see that redoing challenges that I have previously done, I came up with a completely different workflow. That’s why I decided to try and come up with different solutions for each challenge and see if I can learn to use different tools to get to the same output, or use the same tools in a different way.
I find that this is sometime difficult as I often end up creating different sequences of the same tools, but it helps to leave the challenge for a few hours or a couple days, and come back to it with a fresh mind. Also, I tend to not look at the solutions posted on the community until I am comfortable that I would be able to solve the challenge in more than one way, but it can be very useful to see how others are tackling the same challenges and how many ways there are to reach the same solution. I think this is really helping me to discover different tools and approaches and I hope this will show the next time I take the exam.
In challenge 9 for instance, it is clear that most solutions are different versions of the same mental process, but I like to learn from the little differences: the Summarize tool has been used only two times, and with different purposes, and most important, I used the Tile tool which I rarely bring into play. Pretty proud of that.
I hope I will be ready to ace the exam the next time, but if I do not, I am sure all this will pay off eventually.