My New Tech Adventure: Week #1 Recap
From the Behind the Scenes to the Spotlight
Well, hello everyone. It’s been several years since I last blogged and so much has changed. I am a different woman now. Let me reintroduce myself — my name is Christina and I have some good news to tell you. For years, I have been on the margins of tech. I first dabbled into user experience (UX) design, back when the NY tech scene was just getting started. I even worked in customer support and content roles at startups at some point.
But along the way, I honestly lost my creative spark. It happens. It’s normal. By the end of 2021, I quickly decided that I wasn’t going to stay that way anymore and was going to really push myself more than ever to create a new digital home for me and for others who are interested in learning more about my new adventures into tech and data analytics. Yes, you heard that. I’ve officially entered the data analytics realm and is currently enrolled in BrainStation’s five-week online Data Analytics course. As a feasible New Year’s goal, I will chronicle my progress these next five weeks on this blog as well as my other tech-related milestones and insights as a young black Millennial woman technologist. 2022 is the “year of no longer holding back”. I have so much to tell. Shall we begin?
How Did My Journey Begin?
At this moment in time, I am not a data analyst. I used to prop up sensitive financial data using Excel for a few previous clients way before I really sat down to realize that I was actually performing data cleaning. And because of this, I knew that there was a much easier way to be efficient on the job. My eternal inquisitiveness lead to an apparent dead end — I had to pause (well didn’t finished) my Udacity Business Analytics Nanodegree program last spring because it was a bit too self-paced and advanced for my liking. I learn dense material the best in more collaborative settings with an instructor(s) and peers. So, I came across Brainstorm late last month after browsing through a tech-related Discord channel and took the risk to enroll. I like to think that BrainStation came to me at the right time than the other way around.
This past weekend marked my first legitimate journey into the complex yet fascinating world of data analytics. As a young professional, I understand that the pandemic has shined an unfortunate light into the organizational and supply chain weaknesses of businesses around the world. Companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and Doordash have maximized their customer data to almost a T that they are generating billions of reported revenue, while leaving their competitions out in the dust. At the same time, many smaller businesses and nonprofits do not have the tools and the human capital to access and assess their own data to improve their relationships with their customers and communitites. It’s going to be a huge reckoning once this pandemic dies down because a lack of innovation, adaptability, and dexterity in certain business models will collapse if organizations don’t get with the program. And so — I came into this course with an open mind and the goal to truly understand how I can improve any organization use data and what I got in return so far was a full crash course into the seemingly unknown.
I first got an accelerated preview to the data analytics fundamentals: Selection bias, essential Excel formulas that I should use to clean and analyze unformatted data, and a deep emphasis on prioritizing which piece of data needs to be dealt with first before the data cleaning is complete. I knew from the get-go that I would need to thoroughly review the INDEX, MATCH, and VLookup formulas after class so that by the end of this course, I know how to use them contextually.
I will also definitely put more effort into my group lab assignments, so that those Zoom interactions will help me become more confident presenting my final group data visualization project to the rest of the class. I also aim to prepare mentally before each class by reviewing and practicing with supplementary material I found on YouTube. Right now, I have found that Alex the Analyst’s new YouTube Excel for Beginning Data Analysts series to be a really good refresher of some of the content I was exposed to last week. Shoutout to #BlackTechTwitter for recommending me this! I have several other Excel and SQL tutorials and platforms as my multiple Safari tabs, waiting to be probed in the coming days.
By the end of my first class, I was placed into a group of four students and we will decide which dataset(s) to employ to start our journey officially into data analytics and data science. I cannot wait to see what we’ll decide on and I hope you are too. Now, let me get back to work!