I still had a lot to learn.
On my first day at PayScale, I sat down with my new boss to discuss my ramp up plan. “The Plan” was to learn by doing. To be honest, being assigned two projects on my first day was a little intimidating. Especially with minimal knowledge about the company and the tools I would be using. I did know that I’ve always been a hands-on learner and I knew in the end it would be a good fit for me.
I was most definitely correct in my assumption.
One of my initial projects was to provide the data for an interactive “Find the Best Job for You” tool that we were building with Tableau Software. I had never heard of Tableau before. Oh, how things have changed. “The Plan”, initially, included me learning how to pull data from our internal querying tool, how to manipulate that data in Excel (of which I had minimal knowledge), and providing the clean data to the marketing team in a format suited to building the tool. Part of learning how to format the data, was attending the Tableau training session in order to understand how data is read by the software.
It was love at first sight. My career path had already reached the first curve.
Data visualization requires a combination of analytic ability, an eye for design, and strong communication skills. Just as we use different words to verbally explain the same information to different audiences, we must use different presentations of data to visually explain the same information to different audiences.
To make a long story a bit shorter, let’s fast forward a year. My current job title is now Data Analyst / Data Visualization Specialist, I am the foremost expert in data visualization at PayScale, and I use Tableau every day.
Ok, let’s take a look at the journey.