Expectations vs reality

by Sylvie Imbert

Where did the last 4 months go?? On our first day starting at the Data School we were asked to write a blog post with our expectations for the next 4 months of our training (disclaimer: I wrote mine about the whole two and a half year process). In this post, we’ll see if those expectations were met now that we are in our final week…

1.First of, the obvious one, become an expert in Tableau and Alteryx
I’ve passed both Tableau Qualified Associate and Alteryx Designer Core exams, so although I have still a lot to learn, I am definitely on the right track.

2. Hopefully pick up some coding skills to go along (whether in class or in our spare time)
Kind of failed that one… We did a session on SQL, which was like a refresher for me, so one to pursue once I start my placements!

3. Combining the first two points should make us very appealing to prospective employers
This is a constant work in progress!

4. Build a network within the analytical world (both of at employee and company level)
I went to as many events as possible (TUGs, Data + Women, Hackathon…) but this is again a constant work in progress.

5. Being able to present dashboards to a corporate audience and them understanding what I am on about
After 8 client projects and valuable feedback after each presentation, I think I’ve reached that point.

6. Being able to teach the skills I have learnt and the audience understanding what I am on about
I have only done 1 teaching session and a webinar on RegEx ( ♥ ), however I received good feedback from the attendees, so I must be doing something right.

7. Improve my creative skills when building a fancy dashboard (appropriate colour schemes are still a mystery to me…)
Still a work in progress, but I have challenged myself to create more than just line and bar charts, and I am a bit better with colours.

8. Final and most important point, have fun along the way
Nailed that one! Turns out that there hasn’t been a single day where I wasn’t having fun. Sure there has been some stressful moments, but I absolutely love what I do, which is a wonderful feeling.

Not part of the points above, but I have a feeling that I am going to like Alteryx a lot, so let’s see how this goes… I’ll let you know in 4 months!
I was right! As an Excel user, the beginning was tough as I needed to change my way of thinking as to how to obtain the desired result, but once I got my head around it, there was no turning back. That and Tableau Prep Builder are basically like puzzles to solve, slightly addictive.

It’s been an incredible 4 months and every day I’ve felt really lucky to be a part of the team, working along so many amazing people. Thank you to everyone that helped me along the way and to our coaches extraordinaire Andy and Carl for being so patient and repeating things over and over again until it was ingrained.
Can’t wait to start my first placement!

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