You’d think the title is about the training part of Data School. Wrong. This post is about something that resulted from what we’ve learnt this week (Alteryx) and what I’ll refer to as the Alteryx Challenge.

Often the first week of a new job or uni is rather relaxed and sometimes even boring. Not in the DS, it’s quite the opposite. And I wouldn’t be myself if I hadn’t made it more difficult.

Weekly Challenges

On Wednesday, the 2nd day of actual training, we were playing around with Alteryx under Ben’s supervision. (It was more that Ben, who’s an Alteryx Ace, was actually introducing us to the wonders of Alteryx, as the vast majority of DS13 hadn’t had the pleasure before.) After getting the taste of the software, we had some time to work on Weekly Challenges. They are available on Alteryx Community and there’s a new challenge published on a weekly basis. The idea is that you’re presented with the input and what the output should look like as well as short description explaining the situation. The challenges vary in the level of difficulty so that anyone can find something on their level.

The Alteryx Challenge

After having a bit of an understanding how Alteryx works, I must admit I really started to enjoy those challenges. It’s just a good puzzle! And you also learn how to use the software in various situations. Win-win situation. Not thinking too long (might regret that in the near future), I have decided I’ll create an extra challenge for myself and anyone else interested.

The challenge (Alteryx Challenge) is to finish all Weekly Challenges by the end of the DS training. At the moment, there are 151 challenges, with more to come over the next months. That’s 10 or more challenges every week. The fact that only 9 people have completed all of them and the excitement of the rest of TIL team made me realised that this may not have been my best idea. I do like a good challenge, however, and the more ridiculous it sounds the bigger the motivation.

Thankfully, turns out that I’m not the only one doing this challenge. My fellow cohortian Jon is doing the same thing. He even made a dashboard that tracks our effort! Make sure to check it out.

The first week of the Alteryx Challenge is over as I managed to complete 10 challenges. I may or may not have chosen to do the beginner level ones to be over with it quicker…

Stay tuned for the updates on my (and Jon’s) progress and I’m sure I’ll write some posts with Alteryx Tips. At the moment, I can say that Alteryx is really powerful. It has good documentation and support so it’s fairly easy to figure out how to do things. If you have the possibility, try it.