Congratulations Data Schooler! You have made it into one of the best (if not the best) data visualisation programmes in the world. Here are some tips from me to help during your time in the Data School.
Tip number 1: don’t underestimate.
This is an amazing achievement and you should not underestimate how much talent it takes to get in the door, you are fantastic! Throughout your time at the Data School don’t underestimate yourself or your fellow Data Schoolers. Secondly, don’t take it for granted. Not many people get this unique opportunity so make the most of it and don’t leave any space for regret.
Tip number 2: struggling with something?
Don’t stay quiet, ask for help. Whether this be from the instructor that day, others in your cohort or anyone in the company. No one will turn you away when asking for help and most of the time people will go out of their way to help you, we are just that nice.
Tip number 3: if there is something you feel you are not strong at or you don’t like doing force yourself to do it.
My English skills aren’t quite at the same level as my mathematical or Tableau skills so I wasn’t too keen on the thought of blogging. So the very first night I went home and wrote a blog and tried to keep at it throughout the 4 months (it fell away a bit after Xmas). By the end of the 4 months it was fairly enjoyable – I was able to find a particular style which I liked (training/how to blogs) and that helped me to stay on track.
Tip number 4: if there is something that you would like covered or going over again, just ask.
Especially after the first month of training what you get taught is slightly flexible and there is opportunity to cover something that you need help with. If you need help with it then someone else probably does too. In our final few weeks we asked for a class on data scaffolding, having heard the term floating about we thought it might be useful so Robin came in for a morning and ran a class.
Tip number 5: Give and receive feedback.
This is probably one of the most important tips. No one is out to get you, they want you to get better and be the best that you can (and I’m sure you want this for your new colleagues too). Get involved during presentations, ask how something was done or why they chose to do it that way, offer up alternatives and be open to this from other people (it will only make you and them better analysts). There is never only one way to do things in data viz. A client once said to me that its not always all about the presenter, but also the other people in the room.
I hope you find these tips useful and you enjoy your time at the DS as much as I did. I wont be London based for the next 6 months (at least) but if you ever need any help give me a shout.