On 12th July 2019 I attended a half-day workshop run by Psyon on Data Analytics and careers in tech with 8 others from Reigate College and Reigate Grammar School. I had finished my 20th and final GCSE exam a couple of weeks ago when I got an email from my teacher, telling me about this opportunity.
What did I do?
After learning a little about Psyon, we soon dove into what exactly comprises Data Analytics. We learned about its applications, its uses and the different levels within it that allow companies to gain insight into both themselves and the outside world.
Following this introduction, we divided ourselves into groups of three and got to work on a puzzle in which we were given a number of clues from which to deduce our solution. Some of these clues were relevant and some were not, simulating the absolute magnitude of data available to companies that can easily overwhelm them in their pursuit of answers. Though tricky and seemingly abstract at first, this exercise was enjoyable and a great emulation of the sort of problem solving used in the career paths within Data Analytics.
After the ice breaker we saw how data is changed and processed throughout the ‘data journey’, from its initial acquisition to the final delivery and presentation to a client. We even got to look at an example data set which demonstrated just how much of a mammoth task the validation of data can be when dealing with thousands upon thousands of records.
A short break, in which we were supplied with ample amounts of biscuits, tea and coffee, left us well refreshed and ready to move onto the next activity; storytelling with data. In this we learned about the principles and techniques used to present data to clients in a readable and useful manner. Then, using the sample data we looked at earlier, we set to work in teams to sketch out a rough dashboard, and the infographics we would display on it.
Next, we were shown the similarities and differences between the three main career paths of Data Analytics: Data Analysts, Data Scientists and Data Engineers. We came back to this later as well, and each took a short questionnaire, totting up our answers to give an indication about which job might be best for each of us. I got Data Scientist.
Finally, we got to ask the presenters questions, with the topics ranging from university life to online learning recommendations. It was all extremely insightful, and I really enjoyed the workshop.
For me, the first thing to do now is relax. With my 20th and final GCSE exam having finished just over six weeks ago I am really enjoying my summer holidays, despite being nervous for Results Day which looms on August 22nd.
However, I soon plan to learn more about Data Analytics and can’t wait to revisit Psyon and start my work experience with them on the 19th of August. Shortly after that I will be joining Sixth Form at Reigate Grammar School, where I will be studying Maths, Further Maths, Computing and Economics at A level.
I’m really looking forward to learning more about potential career paths and am very grateful to Psyon for their part in helping me do that so far.
David Hamer, Student