Today I’m sharing the 3 steps to finding an online data analytics community and why it’s so important.
When I was just starting out in my data analytics career 15 years ago, there weren’t many communities available. However, I eventually found the Tableau data community and it was a real game-changer for me.
Why I Recommend Online Data Communities For Everyone That Wants To Level Up Their Career (What Worked For Me)
First, online data analytics communities can help you with learning and professional development. It’s easier (and more fun!) to learn new skills, techniques, and tools when you are working alongside others.
Online data communities will help you level up your expertise quickly.
I was able to learn how to use Tableau much more effectively by participating in the #MakeoverMonday community project on Twitter. Each week, I took a data set provided and practiced my Tableau skills. Before too long, I could create data visualizations like this:
Networking and collaboration are major benefits of joining an online data analytics community, too.
For example, I connected with data professionals and ended up getting job opportunities and freelancing gigs thanks to the connections I made through the data community.
Not Joining an Online Data Analytics Community Holds You Back
- staying closed-minded
- isolation and stagnation
- lack of professional network
- limited feedback on your work
- missing out on valuable learning
- missing out on emotional support, encouragement, and inspiration
Don’t Struggle Alone: Join an Online Data Analytics Community and Accelerate Your Learning
By following the advice and strategies outlined in this guide, you can overcome obstacles such as shyness, lack of experience, or uncertainty about how to get started and begin to tap into the immense benefits of being part of a thriving online data analytics community.
Here’s how to step by step:
Step 1: Find groups that match what you like
Joining a group that you like will help you learn new things and make friends with similar interests.
Start by searching for online data analytics communities on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Reddit, and Meetup.
For example, I love working in Tableau. So I found the Tableau community on Twitter (another platform I love). I then found the #MakeoverMonday community challenges, connected with others online, and then even met up with a lot of people at conferences.
If you don’t know where to start, here are some FREE examples:
- Tableau on Reddit
- Tableau Community Forums
- MakeoverMonday Project
- Storytelling with Data Challenges
- DataIsBeautiful on Reddit
Btw, I’m looking for some “beta members” for a new online data community. Check the bottom of this email and let me know if you’re interested.
If you join a group without doing research, you might not like it, and you will waste your time.
Step 2: Get involved before you commit
Getting involved before you commit will help you understand if you want to stay in the group.
- Go to online events or meetings to see what the group is like
- Say hello and ask questions so you can learn more about the group and its members
- Share your own thoughts and ideas with the group
For example, with the #MakeoverMonday project, the two leaders would host live sessions where you could submit your work and get feedback. I joined a few times just to listen. But after a few sessions, I submitted my work and got invaluable feedback.
If you don’t get involved, you might not learn anything or make friends, and you will not benefit from being in the group.
Step 3: Stay active in the group
Staying active in the group will help you make friends and learn more about data analytics.
- Once you join a group, keep going to events and meetings
- Share your thoughts and ideas with the group, and listen to others
- Try to be helpful and supportive of others in the group
I’ve made some real friends in the data community. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone to a Tableau conference, but I know the next time I do go, I will reconnect with them and it will be just like old times.
Being active in the data community has also led to many professional opportunities for me. Not only have I kept my skills sharp, but I’ve also gotten consulting gigs through my network in the data community.
If you don’t stay active in the group, you might not learn anything or make friends, and you will not benefit from being in the group.
I can’t stress it enough: joining and making connections online is super important if you want to grow your career in data analytics.