DS8-Day 1

by Nora-Ann Weststrate

The very first day for DS8. I must admit it’s been a long time since I actually felt like a proper student again. Information overload (weird information) and then a couple of strange downloads on your new PC, followed by ‘you have 30 minutes to write your biographies, but don’t overthink it’ and then finally at 16:15 – ‘please partner up, create a viz with this data set. You will be presenting at 17:00’… WHAT??? I think that was the worst first impression I have given anyone in my life! Luckily Andy was around 5 minutes before we had to present and luckily Robbin is a good presenter.

Rewind a couple of months, I would never have guessed that I would be part of a group of talented people that sit together in the same room. Why did I choose the data school? What stands out to me is the passion that every single team member of The Information Lab and The Data School has for data and their products. Tom was almost jumping up and down as he was illustrating Tableau today (and comparing it to a competing product). From the very beginning they are open with you as to what you will be doing, what your role will be and why they do things a certain way. From the very first day you have support from all the previous cohorts, are assigned a Pod (not sure what that is yet, but they seem to send a lot of random messages) and you have your own cohort.

The second reason I chose them was the way they chose me. By designing your own viz with Tableau will give you a very good opportunity to really understand how powerful it can be. It also shows them that you are willing to figure out how the tool works and that you ask creative questions. You have the opportunity to show them how well you respond to critique when they request that you work on certain aspects of you viz. In the final interview you get to present on a data set that was given to you. The interview is daunting because there is no possible way you know how to present a Tableau viz, but they guide you through it with the questions they ask. The whole process speaks of people passionate about data and guiding other people to get to that level.

Today has been interesting and I think I am part of a wonderful cohort. I look forward to the next couple of months. It is going to be very interesting and very exciting!