Introducing ourselves at the Data School

by Nicholas Bowskill

We’ve come to the end of our first week of DS11! We’ve learnt a lot, about the company and the software, and started to get to know each other, hopefully the start of some good friendships and support for our journey through the Data School. In this post I will describe our first week at the Data School!

On Monday we all came in bright and early ready to kick start this new step in our lives. As we discovered, these steps come in different stages and for different reasons for all of us but we had the interest in data and the love of this new company to unite us all. We first had a session with Robin, introducing ourselves to the new group then learning a lot about the company. From how the company started, developed and is currently, and also the how the company is run: with the idea to make work fun! We then had a session with Andy, again introducing ourselves and having Andy introduce himself and his journey to becoming Head Coach at the Data School. The afternoon consisted of setting up our new work laptops, many downloads and new passwords later we were ready to start work! We finished the afternoon by learning how difficult it is to write in third person about who we are, ready to have our Bio’s go up on the Data School website.

Carl took our Tuesday teaching, starting off with… More introductions of course! He then gave us an introduction to himself and his journey to becoming Coach at the Data School. We were given an introduction to Alteryx and how useful it can be in data manipulation. After learning some basic functions of the software, we then started to have a play around ourselves. Carl gave us some messy data sheets in order for us to give our best attempts at some logical use of the software without much introduction to it.

Wednesday and Thursday began our real training of Alteryx. As Carl was away we had a few people from previous Data Schools come in and teach us many more of the features of the software. This was great for a couple of reasons, firstly the step by step introduction showed us ways that Alteryx could be used to solve real business problems, things we’ll be likely to come across when we start our placements, and secondly we got to see how good the training really was at the Data School! We were being taught by people that not so long ago were in our shoes but were able to teach these things like it was completely natural to them, a huge reassurance we had gotten ourselves into something good!

Our first set of presentations came on Friday, we spent the morning using Alteryx to supplement our original application visualisations with a new set of data. We worked on this all morning and early afternoon for our presentation start at 3pm. All the while we had coaches and previous Data School’ers walking around helping us if we needed it. When 3pm came around we got up the the presentation areas and individually presented what we had done with our data set and how we had made changes to our visualisation. When we had all finished it was time for a well deserved drink which flowed into the start of our welcome party that evening!

We learnt many things in our first week of the Data School. And during our sessions we would regularly have new people come in to introduce themselves and get to know us a little better, really making us feel welcome into The Information Lab family! The next four months of training seem like they’re going to be a fun and challenging time, but supported by some amazing people.