Tips for Making the Most out of the Data School

by Jamie Gough

So DS6 wrapped up last weekend and here are some tips, based on my experiences, for anyone about to start or interested in joining the information labs data school.

Don’t overwork yourself at the beginning

Everyone is a novice at the beginning, I’d only used tableau TWICE before starting the data school, which is typical for a new DSer. This inevitably leads to moments of doubt in the first two months, with a fair few of us carrying work over to the weekend and late into some evenings. Try not to do this too much as the data school starts by throwing a lot of info on you to give you a general understanding of the products.  Then as you progress further into the scheme you will be able to fully comprehend and apply the info through the numerous projects and tasks assigned to you.


Be honest with yourself and those around you

No one is the finished article when they join the data school and the group will have a diverse set of strengths and weaknesses. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak to fellow DSers, pod members, Andy and over members of TIL when you feel like you are struggling with a certain aspect of the teaching. Everyone at the company has struggled at some point, so those with superior knowledge in that subject will be happy to help or even better they may have had the same difficulty and can possibly explain how they got through it. Furthermore, Andy is more than happy to teach classes again if people didn’t fully grasp it the first time.

The easy option is to struggle in silence and try to work through the problems yourself. However, this could hinder your confidence or, even worse, make you fall further behind as it often takes longer to solve problems alone.

This all ties into the final point of this article, which is to make use of the resources available to you. Four months of training flies by and if you don’t take advantage of the numerous resources, whether it be convo, Andy, fellow DSers or core team members. If you fail to utilise such resources you will miss out on a huge opportunity to sharpen your skills further before your tied down with work at placements.

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