The Data School First Impressions - What I expected and what I got.

by Michael McFadden

Well, here we are… The Data School. The dream. After only two days I have a lot of comparisons to make to what my expectations were and seeing as blog posts are a thing I do now (apparently) why not start here?

My New Colleagues

What I expected:

If I’m honest, I had thought about this a lot. Despite having been to the meet and greet and seeing a group of people from a variety of backgrounds I had it set in my mind that I would be walking into a room of 7 fresh faced uni graduates coming into the Data School as an accelerated route to the top of their field. All intellectuals, all hard working, all ready to hit the ground running but with little real work experience. Having not been to uni myself I expected this could be my edge, allowing my to bounce off them and vice versa to get where we all want to be… 2 years down the line.

What I got:

So turns out I was half right I guess! They’ve all been to uni, they’re all intellectuals and seem ready to hit the ground running! Where I’m wrong is that they aren’t all fresh faced (no offence guys) and straight from uni… There is a lot of experience in the room and it’s very apparent even after two days! Everyone has a different background and we all bring something different to the table. Maybe I should have taken the variety at the meet and greet into account but hey ho! All in all it’s a good group. Friendly, talented, ready to go… And it’s clear from the outset that DS7 is going to be the best cohort TIL have ever seen!

The Teacher

What I expected:

I expected Andy Kriebel, but I didn’t know what that meant at first. I knew all about his blogs and his work in the Tableau community, a bit about his history, but I had no idea what to expect with regard to his actual personality and how he would teach us.

What I got:

Andy Kriebel of course. I think I did enough research to know what to expect with Andy, and if I didn’t the interview made it very apparent. Hes an extraordinary mix of driven and laid back, a very experienced man and the perfect person to help us all get to where we need to be. I’m aware of his secret project regarding who sits where and have already begun my effort to become the first 100% time spent in one seat position… At the same time I’ve begun my own secret project – hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up! In addition to Andy we also have a long list of incredible people due to come in including a talk today from James Eiloart.

The Company

What I expected:

I’ve only ever worked in medium sized insurance companies and although I was super aware this is much the opposite, my expectation at first was that the way the company works and it’s structure would be more of the same – especially having moved to the city! I was very mistaken. I looked into TIL and heard a lot from people that work here already, and it’s all been very positive but you never know until you see it for yourself!

What I got:

Entering the room where I’ll be spending the next 4 months of my life I was greeted by a great atmosphere and bag of goodies… Top of the range Laptop, mouse,  branded notepad, coffee cup and pens. What more could you ask for? Well… Anything you need! Anything to help you do your job during your time at TIL, go and get at the companies expense… A small price to pay in exchange for the best data analysts the world has ever seen!! (And that’s not even dramatic to say… Because it’s true!). It’s obvious from the start that TIL values it’s employees and during our first chat with Tom Brown he made it very clear that we’re all equal, everything is straightforward and the general impression that I get is providing you have a genuinely viable reason for doing anything, do it… simple enough.


So overall what I expected was that it would be a great place to work – and after just 2 days my expectations have been blown out of the water already! I’m extremely excited about reputation the Data School has, where it’s going to take me and maybe most importantly he hundreds of eventual vizzes I’ll create!

© 2022 The Information Lab Ltd. All rights reserved.