Week 4 Reflections - Client Projects and Learning From Previous Cohorts

by Rachel Phang

The fourth week of Data School was certainly no less intense than the preceding weeks! It gave us the opportunity to learn from previous Data Schoolers as well as marking our first client project. Week 4 was also our second Alteryx week.

They’ve Done This Before

Learning from previous Data Schoolers was inspiring (imagining ourselves at that level of confidence and expertise a few short months down the line, particularly given that many of them were teaching what was once their “weakest subjects”!) It also gave us the chance to ask lots of questions about the subject matter as well as about their experiences with Data School and going into their placements. I also enjoyed that we got to mix things up a bit and learn from different presentation styles (while thinking about which of these elements we might want to incorporate into our own styles).

First up was Bene, teaching us predictive modelling in Alteryx. We looked at a number of the various tools available and went through several engaging examples, including one using historical data from the records from the Titanic. Naleidi then walked us through Alteryx’s spatial tools, again with an example which brought things to life – this time we looked at car accident data making a grid map of the UK.

After the Alteryx presentations, Amanda, Pete, and Lorna spoke with us about clients and placement experiences, including a walk-through of what was possibly the largest (but very organized-looking) Alteryx workflow I had seen up to that point. That was particularly fascinating as Pete talked us through the context of the workflow, including showing us the various Excel spreadsheets and calculations that the workflow was replacing, and how valuable this process was to the entire global organization.

The First Client Project

We were all excited going in to our first client project, and Natasha stepped up to manage the project. After so much individual work in Alteryx and building out Tableau dashboards, one of the challenges to emerge was working so closely as a team towards a shared goal (given our differences how we envisioned the final product in our heads) and one of the first things Natasha did (which proved useful throughout the project) was getting everyone to express and agree on deliverables (although these too developed over the week.)

Later in the week, we split into teams of two, and working with someone at every step of producing a dashboard right from a blank canvas gave me the opportunity to learn from others and their approach to dashboard design (as opposed to just seeing a finished product and talking it over) compared with the way I build my dashboards. This also feeds in to my continual development, particularly in thinking about design elements.

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