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  • Writer's pictureTeneika Askew

Visualizing Your Data Journey

This started off as a talk for Black in Data Week, but I figured why not write a blog post as well!

Storytelling is critical as a data analyst, scientist or engineer. Each role requires a different level of story telling but the skill itself is key to landing roles. I have communicated my journey in several stories over time and I wanted to give everyone a couple of different ways to do so.

Did I mention creating these visuals led to confirmed interviews for roles, job opportunities and speaking engagements? People love a good story!

Okay let's get started!


If you've never touched a data analysis tool, that's okay! You can and should learn the art of effective communication before you start doing data analysis. It will help you create better visuals for your users. While in consulting, we were known for delivering top quality PowerPoint presentations. I used that experience to create an insight driven resume for hiring managers, recruiters and donors to view solo or in conversation!

What you see here is the story of how I started my career, expanded my knowledge and where that expertise and leadership has led me. You also see key takeaways that high level executives love to see when hiring a candidate, but it's not always available. This story isn't clear when reviewing a resume or CV, so I decided to make it clear.

Now this view is where research and aggregation of data will really play a key role in creating an insightful presentation. I continuously collect the value of my work. I continuously measure my progress. I took this information and did an analysis (counts and sums) to identify top key metrics to highlight. I also ensured that I had articulated the context of the problem, the results and impact of how I solved the problem and the key skills that were demonstrated throughout the project.

This resume landed me recruiter interviews at 5 top tech companies in less than 30 days - all through LinkedIn!

Now as time progressed and I finally made the decision to proceed with interviewing at Mozilla, I was faced with a major concern. I had no portfolio that was publicly available to demo during my interviews. They wanted to see my data viz, Power BI or Tableau skills. I resorted to graduate school dashboards I designed and a publication that I earned while working as a consultant for CDC. It landed me the role, but I was still eager to ensure that this wouldn't happen again.

So as I started to create a visual of how LinkedIn tells my story to recruiters and other companies. I wanted to know what Teneika's Journey looked like on their end!


In normal fashion I started with researching varying visuals for inspiration. What good data analyst or visualization specialists do. Started scrapping my LinkedIn but had an aha moment! I realized that with the new GDPR compliance, my data was available to me! Everything LinkedIn has on me, I have rights to! So I downloaded it from LinkedIn.

I pulled everything together in Excel and Power Query (after waiting 17 hours for the full export) then pushed it to Tableau to make some art. View it live!

So what were the actual steps I took? I'll name them at a high-level and host a training later! The video from my talk will also be updated here after!

First I downloaded the data from LinkedIn. This request took a bit of time to be fulfilled.
Then took a moment to do some data wrangling. Cleaning extra characters and whitespaces then conducting a lot of pivots to get the data normalized.
I started in Tableau Prep but it was WAY TOO SLOW to do all the pivots I needed. 

I moved back to Excel and entered into Power Query. I shared a video of this process on Twitter then someone at Microsoft let me know that there is a new view to make this process easier! Amazing what the power of a Tweet can do. Any who, let's proceed!

After the data wrangling was complete, I loaded the data into Tableau, created blended relationships where needed and started visualizing. 
And I kept creating visuals, I called a friend to check out my dashboard (you always need a second pair of eyes) and then made some tweaks and...
I finished it. This was a 3.5 hour project after I received the data but it could take less or it could take longer depending on what you want to show visually. Also keep in mind everyone's journey is different and we all learn differently. The time it took me may be different for you.

If you decide to create your own version, share links to your dashboard in the comments!

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