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Age is Just a Number for Aspiring Data Analysts

Gopika Chudasama shares her journey into data analytics.

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Gopika

Gopika Chudasama’s passion for data analytics originated as a senior in high school, when she examined the useability of a machine learning model as her capstone project. Her interest grew during a summer internship with Reveal Global Consulting (RevealGC), where she saw up close how data analytics can change the game for public and private sector companies.
RevealGC also introduced her to Alteryx Designer — a data analytics and automation platform — which she embraced for her internship projects. She even prepared for and passed the Alteryx Core certification exam that summer before college.
“I saw the amazing things they were doing with Alteryx, just handling massive amounts of different types of data,” says Chudasama. “And I saw the results they were able to get from these huge workloads … all with just a few Alteryx tools.”
Now this University of Maryland freshman is fully committed to data analytics and machine learning. And as one of the youngest students to earn an Alteryx Core certification, she proves that age is just a number for aspiring data analysts.

From Capstone to Intern to College

For her capstone project, Chudasama says: “I was handling different types of data for the first time in my life. I learned how to gather data, analyze it in different ways, and make meaningful results out of it.”
Fortunately, she didn’t have to go it alone. She partnered with scientists from the local army base to analyze the data, helping ground her in the fundamentals of data analytics. The project’s goals were ambitious: explore machine learning’s potential to automatically identify and classify microscopic tissues in a laboratory setting — a process that could eventually help doctors make quicker, more accurate diagnoses.
Before it was even finished, her project caught the eye of RevealGC. “I created a poster that detailed my investigations in machine learning. My dad, who works at there, showed it to someone, who showed it to someone else, and eventually to the CEO. It all came together from there. I’m so thankful for that opportunity.”

A Core Learning Experience

Upon starting her internship, Chudasama was trained in Alteryx Designer software, learning how to do data prep, blending, and analytics with an easy drag-and-drop interface. Designer is part of the Alteryx analytics and automation platform, giving anyone in an organization the power to turn data into insights.
Chudasama took to Designer quickly, noting the power of the platform to tackle big data challenges with ease. She did not have to know how to code, as the tools are no-code, code-friendly. As her confidence grew, her managers encouraged her to pursue Alteryx Core certification.
“Given the different types of projects we were working on, they wanted me to be able to understand them and contribute in my own way,” she says. The certification tested her ability to use Designer to build basic workflows, join data sets, cleanse and filter data, and summarize the results.
With the Alteryx certification in her back pocket, Chudasama began contributing to some of RevealGC’s bigger projects, such as analyzing U.S. Census Bureau data and satellite images. Designer is geo-spatially enabled.
“We did some investigations and experiments with the data and images. I helped derive meaningful conclusions.”

What’s Next?

Now in college, her experience with Alteryx Designer has her thinking of many other potential uses for the platform. “I’ll definitely continue my journey into data analytics. I’m starting as a computer science major, but I’m going to focus a lot on data and machine learning as I go. I’m going to get the most out of these four years that I can.”

Learn About the Alteryx SparkED Academic Education Program

As a thought leader in addressing the global skills gap in data analytics, Alteryx has developed a no-cost education program, with free Designer licenses for educators and learners, faculty training, teaching tools, learning pathways, and certification preparation. SparkED is designed for academic learners, as well as individual independent learners seeking data skills to improve their competitiveness in the job market. Visit us here: www.alteryx.com/sparked 

Written By
Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller
Education Marketing Manager
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