As cliché as it is, time really has flown by. The Data School’s 11th cohort have just completed our 6th week of training and will be beginning our 7th week at the time of this post’s publishing. Crazy right?
With only a couple weeks left until the halfway point of our 4 months of training, I thought I’d reflect on how things have gone so far, major lessons I’ve learned, and what I want to do to make the most of my remaining training time.
What I have done so far, in numbers.
6 weeks of Tableau and Alteryx training
2 client projects
1 client project as project manager
9 blog posts published on the Data School blog (or 10 including this one!)
1 domain purchased for my personal website (here!)
Tableau Prep version 2018.1.1 was released in April this year. Six months on and five versions later, Emily Chen introduced DS11 to Tableau Prep 2018.3.1.
My first thoughts? Its user interface is modern and intuitive with some great functions but there are some limitations. Tableau Prep won’t surpass Alteryx in power at the moment but definitely has potential!
Being a new software, many of you probably haven’t given it a go yet. In this guide, I will run through everything you need to know to get started! See my previous posts on getting started with Alteryx (link) and Tableau Public/Desktop (link).
Now, if you haven’t got Tableau Prep downloaded yet, you can get the free trial here. Otherwise, start up Prep and let’s get started!
The first thing you’ll see when you start up Tableau Prep is something like Figure 1.
We are currently well into our second week of the Data School; with the focus of this week being Tableau (i.e. the reason we all applied to this job). For all of you who are interested in learning to use Tableau and/or are thinking of applying to the Data School but don’t know where to begin, this blog post will take you through everything you need to know to get you started. See my previous post on getting started with Alteryx (link).
First of all, check out Tableau’s Starter Kit (link here). It’s a great resource for getting started. Remember, the more you read, the more you learn!
Now, if you haven’t already downloaded Tableau Public for free, here’s a link to where you can sign up. If you have access and would prefer to use Tableau Desktop’s free trial, then go ahead and start it up!
*Warning* I will be dropping a lot of terminology, so get ready. However, don’t worry about memorising the terms as much as understanding the purpose/function.
The first thing you’ll see when you open up (in my case) Tableau Desktop, is something like Figure 1.
Why is Hawaii so far from the rest of the United States? Why is Canada in between Alaska and the rest of the United States?
Trying to get Alaska and Hawaii in a dashboard with the other 48 states can lead to lots of wasted, empty space (as seen in Figure 1). In this view, Alaska looks massive, with lots of space taken up by Canada to the right. Additionally, Hawaii is side-lined and mainland US is small with the details hard to see. Many times, Alaska and Hawaii are filtered out and disregarded completely in favour of a clear view of the remaining 48 states. However, doing this means leaving out potentially valuable information.
Is there a solution to this issue? Yes! In this blog post, I will go through a method I’ve used multiple times (Figure 2). Alaska, Hawaii and mainland USA are placed in three separate containers in a dashboard. Filters, highlighters, etc applied to one map will affect all three maps. This method eliminates much of the empty space between the lands and results in a functional and attractive way of representing all US states.
DS11’s first week at the Data School was focused on introducing us to Alteryx; a super useful software for prepping messy data before visualising in Tableau. Amongst data preparation, Alteryx is also capable of spatial and predictive uses. In this guide, we will navigate through the interface of Alteryx Designer and I will also give some helpful hints on how to get started. Now, download Alteryx Designer and let’s get acquainted.
Alteryx Designer Interface
When opening Alteryx Designer, you will be met with an interface that looks like Figure 1. Matlab users out there will be very familiar with this layout!
The Data School. DS11. Day one of the next chapter of our lives! A mix of nerves and excitement meant I hardly slept the night before and unfortunately, I came down with a cold. Some paracetamol pills later, I was ringing the buzzer for the Information Lab at 25 Watling Street.
Welcome to my blog and my first ever post 🙂 Let me introduce my story so far…
I graduated from university with an engineering degree in July 2018 without a job lined up. I was now an adult in the real world without any source of income or a clear career path. As you can imagine, it was daunting. After applying to dozens of jobs, ranging from finance jobs to healthcare jobs, I was blessed to find an ad for a Trainee Data Consultant position at the Data School (part of the Information Lab).
Refreshingly, the Data School did not require a CV or cover letter (thank you!). Instead, download Tableau Public, a free visualisation software, and create something amazing. Now I was not expecting much from Tableau but surprisingly, it was so much fun!