This is the end of week 2 for DS16 and a time to reflect on what we have been up to so far as time does seem to go by quickly when you’re having fun with charts and flows.

Week 1:

The first couple of days mainly consisted in getting to grips with the who is who and who does what of the business, setting up our laptops and having an overview of what was waiting for us in the next few months.

Then, as we were itching to finally open our laptops and get cracking, we were told to pick up some crayons instead… (if you haven’t sketched your viz before doing anything else, then you’re doing it wrong).

New DS cohort would normally begin the training with Alteryx as it is a software that pretty much no new Data Schooler has used before and therefore means we would all start on even field. Carl (aka Alteryx guru) being away that week, we started with the fun bit first and Andy (aka Tableau guru) talked us through the Tableau fundamentals training. This is when a lot of “oohh” and “if I’d known that before!!” resonated in the room (see previous blog post).

Friday came in and we were tasked with our first project: redo one of our early (ugly) viz from Tableau Public with the help of someone from DS15 in 2 hours and then present it in front of everyone. It was quite daunting at first, but we all managed.

This first week was packed with social events: cheeky pint on Monday between us newbies to debrief and get to know each other, Meet & Greet on Wednesday (see Eve’s and Jamie’s post on why you should attend), catch up with my mentor on Thursday and Welcome Party on Friday. Felt like fresher’s week minus the traffic cone stealing on the way back home.

Week 2:

Introduction to ETL with Alteryx and Tableau Prep Builder.

I was personally really looking forward to learning Alteryx. Turns out it’s a little bit less fun than I thought it would be, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all about perseverance and patience (and lots of Alteryx/Preppin Data challenges).

Learning Tableau Prep Builder later on in the week felt like a breeze in comparison! Which was the point I think. Much more user friendly in my opinion even if you can do a lot more in Alteryx.

We managed to squeeze in a Makeover Monday (on Tuesday), the first most of us had to do in 1 hour. That time constraint seems to be a running theme (a way of preparing us for “the real world”) and a good way to test the theory of “better be done than perfect”. My advice would be to find your angle fairly early on and focus your data analysis on it rather than get distracted by the all the data in hand and build a thousand charts.

On Friday Carl and Craig from DS Australia thought it would be a great idea to put the two new DS head to head in a project challenge: build 4 dashboards around the theme of the Ashes, with 5 different data sets. That was probably one of the most nerve-wrecking 3 hours of my life and I grew some grey hairs in that time frame. But we all managed to produce something in time! Results will be in on Tuesday, so stay tuned…