Learning Through Projects

Learning a new skill can be though. But the more you try, the more you realise that you won’t suck forever. Mastery, it seems, comes by chipping away at a problem. And there is no better impetus for learning software or theory than starting a project.

Now it is true that with time constraints the temptation is always there to rather stay with the what you know, but this neither benefits you or your future projects. I prefer to take the long view on this subject and discount the time spent on learning new software or techniques, because I have seen the improvements that I can be made in the span of months, not years.

So in the spirit of this, I want to tackle one project a month for 2013 and then write about it on this blog. These projects will vary in size and I’ll try to provide as much code, links to sources, and maybe even completed projects as possible. Now 2013 is well on its way, so I thought I might get the ball rolling with a project completed in 2012 (this post’s picture is a snapshot of the VBA enabled project). I’ll probably break the project into parts to show how it was constructed and my rational for the design.

Since my work life and personal life tend to influence each other these projects will probably be built in either QlikView or Excel.

When it comes to Excel, I’ve taken inspiration from Excel/design gurus like: Purna Duggirala, Jeorge Camoes and Robert Mundigl.

I’ve only been using QlikView for about 8 months now, but from what I’ve seen from some QV developers, I have to concur with Matthew Crowther – a lot more can be done to improve the data visualizations created so that effective knowledge transfer occurs. I have loved working with QlikView, but it can be a prickly beast when it comes to imposing your will to create data visualizations and reporting, so I’m interested in pushing it to it’s limits with extensions that incorporate JavaScript and maybe some D3.

I’m sorry about the length of the post, I guess I’m making up for lost time. I hope you will join me as I take on these projects and that these posts might inform some of your own projects.

– Charles

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About Charles Crous

Data visualisation in support of better decision-making is my passion. I'm a data enthusiast. An ardent knowledge-seeker, trying to understanding the relationships between data points one data set a time.

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