A break from the Kriebel regime - Data School Week 8

by Laura Peterson

Week 8 – break from the Kriebel regime

With our head coach on holiday for most of Week 8, I thought this week would be easier than usual, like having a substitute teacher in primary school. I was wrong! Not only was Andy keeping tabs on us throughout the week, but with no client project this week we were able to dedicate four whole days to intense Alteryx training. Here is a breakdown of how things went:

Monday

Monday was very misleading. It was Andy’s last day before leaving for vacation, and the mood was ultra relaxed. In the morning Andy walked us through how he leveraged Tableau to analyse Neilson market segment data when he worked at Coca-Cola. I found this incredibly interesting, having never worked in FMCG myself. As a consumer I am used to thinking about grocery store items price/unit, this got me thinking about my weekly shop from a retailer perspective – pricing strategies and volume per outlet.

After lunch, we worked on #MakeoverMonday and chose the API we were going to use for our project. I found the makeover aspect difficult this week, I thought the original graph was really good. So I used this opportunity to draw a robot!

MakeoverMonday Tableau

Rest of the Week

Tuesday is when the real pain began. Our ‘substitute’ Andre, gave us a brief overview of macros in Alteryx, then we built an easy one together, then he threw us into the deep end. Next up, we were given intermediate Alteryx exercises and 20 min to complete them. This was the first time we had a strict deadline to produce an Alteryx workflow, very stressful.

Wednesday we struggled with more exercises, then we had time to work on our projects. This week the project requirements were:

  • Find an API with pagenation
  • Build an iterative or batch macro in Alteryx to pull down all the data
  • Then build an Analytical App on top of the macro to allow users to select an input
  • The output of the Alteryx workflow must open up a Tableau Dashboard

Having never done any of the above before week 8, this was a challenging project.

I had finished my first macro by the end of Wednesday and was feeling positive about things; then my personal life threw me a huge curveball. One of my closest friends passed away on Wednesday night. I was a total mess on Thursday and couldn’t go in, so I missed Paul’s lesson on Apps in Alteryx.

Determined to finish the project, I read some blogs and ran through some of the training materials in the Alteryx community to learn how to turn my macro into an application that launches Tableau. I figured it out in the end and felt victorious! However, I had struggled with the Alteryx bit for so long that it left little to no time to create a polished Tableau dashboard with the data.

At the time, week eight felt impossible, but looking back on it now, I am glad I learned so much about Alteryx by struggling through it. It meant I was better prepared for the challenges of the weeks to come…

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Laura Peterson

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