Lean Into Your Passions

by Alvaro Gonzalez

I have just wrapped up an amazing first week of training at The Data School, and I’m still pinching myself in disbelief. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was opening my laptop with nervous excitement to decide the dataset for my initial application dashboard.

One of the recommendations you will consistently see during application process is to select your dataset based off one of your passions. I believe that following this advice is the main reason I was successful.

In this blog, I wanted to share a four reasons why leaning into your passions can benefit you when applying:


This seems like an obvious one, but it can be easily overlooked. Understanding your dataset can save you a lot of time that can be better spent on things that can make a difference. Familiarity will make you less reliant on a data dictionary and can eliminate any guess work. The last thing you want to do is have to do research on your data while you are also trying to learn how to use Tableau.


Choosing a dataset based off your passions will allow you to better select the angle of your analysis or the story you want to tell. When you load up the data, you will likely already have some questions that you can dive straight into answering, which will help you get started. Knowing the topic will also give you confidence in your findings and figures.


The design and layout of your dashboard significantly impacts it’s ability to tell a story. Users of your dashboard will be guided by the placement of your charts and text. Being familiar with the topic, and the story you want to tell, can help you make design choices that maximize the impact of your dashboard.


Analyzing data on a topic you are already curious about makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable. It’s fun trying to answer questions you've been sitting on, even if they aren't used in your final submission. If you have fun while creating your dashboard, your personality is bound to shine through, which will give you a better chance of success.

Best of luck to anybody reading this that is thinking or in the process of preparing their dashboard. While the process can seem daunting at first, if you lead with passion, you are sure to go far!

Wed 29 May 2024

Wed 29 May 2024

Fri 08 Mar 2024