Tom Pilgrem Data School Down Under Trainee
A day in the life of…

Consulting Analyst at The Data School

Tom Pilgrem studied Bachelor of Science at University of Sheffield and Master of Research at University of Plymouth and is now Consulting Analyst at The Data School 

Here's a day in the life of a Data Schooler – During project week

8:45 - Arrive

This is usually the time I arrive at the office. Grab a coffee and catch up with any messages on Convo, our company social media platform. It’s a nice time to have a chat with the coaches and fellow data schoolers to catch up on what everyone was up to the past evening. It’s always a nice and chilled time to have a casual chat to get to know the others in the cohort and company.

9:15 – SCRUM Meeting

During project weeks we have a meeting with the client on a Monday at 9 where we get a brief from them to complete and present back on Friday afternoon. During the week we’ll have a quick stand up meeting to discuss how everyone is managing their workload and progress of our tasks. It’s always fun and light hearted, with every meeting beginning with a joke from that week’s project lead. I’ve always found it useful to see where we are as a group for planning tasks and finding out who can help you with bits you may be struggling with. The great thing about being in the Data School is that everyone is keen to learn and help others learn. If you don’t know how to do something you can guarantee that someone in the room or on Convo will and is happy to help you! 

9:30 – Project work

Typically, the day will be split between client work and training. It’s fairly flexible and usually depends upon progress of the client project and the availability of coaches. Early in the week I’ll usually be heavily involved with Alteryx work to clean and prepare the data, joining datasets together and making a usable data set to then use in Tableau. The Tableau side of work usually involves making a set of dashboards to present to the client which they can then go and use. We’ve had a great variety of clients, which is great for an exposure to different industries. These range from sports betting, banking, airlines and social care.

It’s usual to split up into small groups on 2 or 3 to split the workload. You’re certainly never left alone when working here, people are always genuinely keen to see what you’re working on and help you out. I always enjoy it when we have a loose brief from the client and we can be creative in what we produce, usually leading to stunned faces and dropping on jaws during presentations! 

12:00 – Lunch

We usually take an hour for lunch. It’s a nice time to unwind and have a chat about life outside of work – usually with some of the core team members who are in the office that day. We’re a really sociable company and people are always friendly to chat with. I’ll often go for a walk by the river to stretch my legs before coming back in for training. 

13:00 – Training

Training is the main component of time in the Data School. The coaches are all great and the time flies by! It’s never the same person teaching either, which is great for variety and making sure we get the expert in a field to teach that topic. During Tableau training Andy will often build a view and show it on the screen with the goal to try and recreate it. It’s a great way to learn and practice, similar to a Workout Wednesday challenge. Alteryx training is often more ‘follow me’ style of teaching. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had ‘wow’ moments when learning here!

One thing that’s always common during training is there’s a smile on my face! It’s definitely a different style of learning to uni. Working collaboratively as a group is great and the pace of training always keeps you excited and busy. Mixing the training in with client work is also a great way to practice time management as well as developing into a role in consulting. 

16:00 – Client Check

On a Wednesday we’ll have a call with the client to show them what we’ve produced so far and discuss any issues we’ve had with the data. It’s a great way to make sure we’re on the right lines with the brief and make sure what we deliver is what they’re expecting. Frequently dealing with clients during the time in the Data School is a great way to learn the soft skills such as presentations and definitely prepares you for your time out on placement. 

17:00 – Own Time

Training usually wraps up around 5 and from then you are free to do as you wish. I quite often use this time to write a blog post about a tip or trick I learnt that day. You could quickly do a makeover Monday or wrap up some project work. 

18:00 – Climbing

I’m really into my climbing so most evening I’ll go to the climbing wall straight after work, sometimes with a workmate too. There’s usually social events on Friday evenings after our presentations when we kick back with a beer and celebrate the hard work done that week. The Data School is certainly a ‘work hard – play hard’ company and a great group of people to socialise with after work. 

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