On top of pursuing a PhD in economics, Dilek Sayedahmed decided to upskill even further, learning data analytics skills at Lighthouse Labs.
The Montreal graduate enrolled in the April 20 Intro to Data Analytics six-week course to add to her theoretical knowledge from Concordia University. As our courses transitioned online shortly before the April 20 cohort, the class was held virtually, and brought together students in Montreal and Toronto.
Through a mix of Zoom, Slack, and Compass, our in-house learning system, Dilek and 10 other eastern Canada data analytics students learned the ins-and-outs of Excel and Tableau. The first half of the course was dedicated to Excel, including how to:
- Use built-in functions to organize and query data
- Set filters
- Create charts and visualizations
- Use Pivot tables
- Identify patterns
- Perform analysis including anomoly detection, optimization modeling, and linear regressions
Then, students connected Tableau with their own data sets from Excel to create custom dashboards to make data highly visual and digestible.
For her capstone project, Dilek used an open data set on a company's employees to analyze, and create a dashboard in Tableau to show the potential gender barriers in recruitment, hiring, pay, and promotion.
Dilek answered a few of our questions about the course and about herself. Read her story below.
Tell me about yourself prior to the PT course - what are you up to work/school-wise?
I am a PhD candidate in economics at Concordia University. I will be defending my doctoral thesis this summer. My research combines ideas from market design, choice theory, game theory, and refugee studies. I design algorithms with deep social impact and policy implications.
How did you find Lighthouse, and what made you choose Lighthouse for a part-time course?
A good friend of mine completed the Web Development Bootcamp here in Montreal, and he passionately recommended Lighthouse Labs for me to deepen my data analytical skills.
Tell me about your experience learning at Lighthouse Labs. How did you find the content, pace, schedule, and it being online?
Due to COVID-19 our courses were all virtual. Although I hesitated about this at the start in terms of establishing relationships with my instructors and classmates, it turned out to be truly engaging and enjoyable. This was thanks to our great instructors Marie and Sol, as well as our cohort’s engagement level and questions. The schedule was very reasonable. The pace and time allocation for Excel and Tableau were also very ideal. We covered theory and techniques in detail, but we also had good amount of time for practice, which was key.
We covered theory and techniques in detail, but we also had good amount of time for practice, which was key.
Tell me how the part-time course has impacted your experience at work/school?
Since my current research is very theoretical, and although my Master’s research was on empirical analysis, I was very happy to freshen and deepen my data analytics skills with this course. Data analytics will be crucial for me in the job market.
Having completed the course, what intrigued you the most about data analytics?
The variety of accessible datasets that are available out there. Also, the amount of different questions that can be answered with these datasets. For example, it was very interesting to listen my classmates’ projects on bike share ridership and cannabis prices and decriminalization.
Data analytics will be crucial for me in the job market.
What excites you about learning data more in-depth moving forward?
I am excited to further develop my coding skills (such as coding using Python) so that I can continue to answer interesting and more complex questions efficiently.
What, if any, advice would you give to people considering a part-time course?
Always keep in mind that practice is the key, there is no magic in developing data analytical skills. Practicing is vital as well as patience and curiosity.
How did you find the instructors?
Both Sol and Marie are true experts in their field! They were very professional and passionate, which is very important to inspire the students. They were also very patient with our questions and curiosity, which was truly appreciated by everyone.