What's your job about?
The Information Lab helps clients to make sense of data with the use of Tableau and Alteryx. The Data School was created to train ambitious people becoming the next Data Scientists. The employees of the Information Lab work as Consultant and Trainers at the clients’ offices. On top of helping them creating dashboards, the consultants spend some time teaching the techniques in the field, in order to enable the clients, understand better the tools used. The Information Lab is also a Tableau and Alteryx partner since it provides clients licences to the sofwares.
I am a member of the Data School cohort 8 and I have officially finished the four-month training in London before starting the first six-month placement at a client site. As a data analyst I use Tableau and Alteryx to answer questions to make sense of data. A typical day at the Data School is split up by training sessions about Alteryx and Tableau as well as one-week client projects, challenges, exams, blog writings, presentations, teaching, shadowing days. My job consists in understanding and analysing data to visualise it with Tableau.
What's your background?
I was born in the sunny Catania in the South of Italy and I did my primary and secondary education between Sicily and Milan. I went to a Classical Studies High School where I studied ancient Latin and Greek.
During the primary education I participated to the European Funded project ‘Socrates’ in Spain for a two weeks student exchange program. I hosted a Spanish student for two weeks in Italy and then attended a two weeks program in Madrid. I have also prepared for official certifications and passed the DELE and DIE Spanish exams at the University of Salamanca.
In the final two years of high school I have spent the summer breaks abroad to learn English while preparing for the official certifications PET and FIRST Cambridge Certificates at the University of Oxford. I also spent three month in Toronto, Canada preparing for the IELTS certificate.
I attended the University of Milan for Interpreters (BA) where I translated from and into Italian, English and Russian. I have spent two weeks in Saint Petersburg in Russia and six months in Tallinn, Estonia where I completed the TKRI Russian Certificate.
I also studied International Business Management at the University of Kent with a dissertation of Foreign Direct Investments in the Fashion Industry. I moved to London to work as a Compliance Analyst for a marketing start-up for a year, before joining the Information Lab as a Data Analyst.
How did you get to your current job position and for how long have you being doing it already?
I have heard about the Data School through a recruiter and I have been invited for an open day called ‘Meet and Greet’ at their offices in London. I have applied in December 2017 and started in February 2018, it has been now 4 months that I work for the Information Lab in London.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Any background is allowed, at the Data School nobody will look at your CV but at your ability to tell stories, present it confidently using Tableau. The Data School is not only for people who knows coding and data science, but it is truly for everyone: there is room for development for those who are willing to learn and roll up their sleeves.
The most important characteristic is being enthusiastic about anything you do. If you are eager to learn and master your skills every day, the Data School is then the place for you.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
There is no doubt that the training is intense, but I can assure you it is fun as well. After the all week of training and challenges, on Friday at 3 PM is presentation time. The cohort's weekly presentations embrace all the efforts of the week: apply the learned material while delivering the client's project. The weekly projects are a great way to track progress, build teamwork and master presentation skills. It is a very rewarding experience because at the end of the presentation you will receive the client's feedback which most of the time is excited to use the dashboards created by the team members. The life at the Data School is also bringing together people, who at the end of the four-month training become friends.
What are the limitations of your job?
The training is intense, especially for someone who is not coming from a Science or coding background. This is the main reason why I often went back to my notes and spent more time on projects compared to other colleagues. It is a fast-paced environment, where it is important to learn the techniques, apply them during client work and write about it in blog posts. The regular working hours are 9:00 until 17:30, however you might want to do the extra mile to learn more or impress the clients by working a bit harder.
Pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
There will be days when you think you don’t have time for everything. My tip is to enjoy every single moment of the learning time and to make the best out of it. It is vital for a student to be able to learn as much as possible while also having fun.