A Reflective Log of My First Client Project

by Henry Mak

Hi there! A few weeks ago I had my first client project as part of The Data School (cohort DS23). In this blog post I'll be going over roughly what happened during this week and my thoughts and feelings, overall. I hope it gives you some more insight into myself and The Data School.

What happened during the week

Monday AM - Kick-off call with the Client and the team (DS23 and Andy)

- After this call I felt nauseous for a few hours - very strange as it's the first time I have had this happen to me. But as Andy said to me, it's not so bad as it shows that I care. At this point we were each assigned aspects of the brief to focus/complete by the Project Manager (Adam). Some worked in pairs but some worked independently. The dashboard I was assigned to create was to be done independently.

Monday PM - Project Time. Prep for "Learn What The Data School Learns".

- We used this time to fully understand the brief, the data, and to get an estimate down of what we think we can achieve by Friday. For the later parts of the day we prepped for "Learn What The Data School Learns" which was next week.

Tuesday AM/PM - Macro's and Apps (Alteryx) training with Peter S

Wednesday AM - APIs training (Alteryx) with Ben M

Wednesday PM - Project Time

- Get cracking with the project. At this point it was mainly independent work. We also had a call with the Client to quickly present what we've done so far, to ask any questions, and to keep the Client in-the-loop of any issues.

Thursday AM - Training Feedback with Andy P. Prep for "Learn What The Data School Learns".

-  This morning we got a chance to give anonymous feedback on our experience so far at The DS (as we were around the halfway mark of training at this point). This is so the company can improve in different aspects e.g. the curriculum for future DS cohorts.

Thursday PM - Project Time

- Begin to finish off the dashboard. It's been drilled into us that we should be ~95% done by the end of Thursday. For me, at this point, I was less than 95% done which wasn't ideal but it wasn't the end of the world.

Friday AM - Project Time

- Make the formatting consistent with the template and the Client's requirements. Put the finishing touches onto the dashboard. At this point Carl unexpectedly pops into the team's Zoom call, and he gave me some advice (I might as well ask since he's here!). Finally, rehearse the presentation.

Friday PM - Presentation

- Present to the Client (albeit a bit rushed because we only had 1 hour for the whole call instead of the usual 2). My stomach feels mega tight after presenting. The Client is very happy with what we produced... we smashed it!!!


My reflection

What went well

  • The end product that the team and I produced. We exceeded the Client's expectations
  • The presentation. Although I felt nervous, I felt like my overall delivery of the content was good
  • I stayed composed throughout the week even though there were periods of uncertainty

What didn't go so well

  • We struggled with creating mock data
  • I struggled to format the dashboard so the worksheets weren't a silly size. I managed to fix this issue thanks to Convo and my colleagues' ideas
  • My time management could have been better at certain points in the week

What did I learn?

  • I am very much a script/structured person rather than an off-the-top-of-my-head person when it comes to presenting
  • A better idea of how to project manage. Adam did a great job (and set the bar high)
  • How to use Mockaroo and Alteryx to create mock data

Conclusion

Overall, it was a great week and a positive learning experience. I'm proud of what the team and I produced, especially since training was very intense during this period.


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