Amanda Patist Bio
I’m currently working as a Self-Service Analytics Coach at Cargill, a job that I love, because it centers around helping people learn best practices in data visualization as well as the wider data pipeline and building up the internal data community.
In a previous life, I was doing post-doctoral research in stem cells, but found my passion for data viz, through my time at the Data School at The Information Lab in London. Since then I have moved back to The Netherlands, where I continue to be active the Tableau Community, helping to run Data Plus Women and act as a local Chapter Leader for Viz for Social Good.
Michael: Hello, Amanda. Can you tell my readers about your involvement as Chapter Lead of The Netherlands #vizforsocialgood? Can you also tell us a little bit about #vizforsocialgood?
Viz for Social Good (VfSG) is a project very close to my heart, in which we help to harness the power of data visualization for social change. I first found out about VfSG, when I came a cross a tweet form Tableau asking for #DataResolutions around New Years many years ago. Chloe Tseng, who founded VfGS got in touch telling me about her project and since that moment, I was all in. I started out as a volunteer and later became a chapter leader in London and now I continue to help out from Amsterdam.
Chloe founded the community project, in which we partner with non-profits to empower them through telling stories with their data. Once we have partnered with a non-profit, the data is released via our website and the data viz community can pick this up and help create content. Our volunteers have done some incredible work with the likes of The United Nations and many more, which you can check out here: https://www.vizforsocialgood.com/our-work
If you’d like to get involved, we’d love to hear form you! You can sign up for here: https://www.vizforsocialgood.com/join-a-project or follow us on twitter @VizFSG or instagram @vizforsocialgood.
Michael: You were a Consulting Data Analyst at The Information Lab in London, can you tell me a bit about your time there?
Joining The Data School at The Information Lab, is probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. For me, this was a bit of a risk, as all I had ever known was academic life and a switch into business intelligence consulting, was a big step into the unknown.
From the moment I started the interview process, I knew that I was making the right choice! As a scientist I have always had an inquisitive mind, and, all the work that I had been doing, was always very visual, a lot of fluorescence and microscopy. One of the things I really enjoyed during my science time, was public outreach. Biology is not always the easiest to understand, and I really enjoyed taking the science jargon and making that understandable, to anyone. Moving into data viz, was a perfect move, that let me keep that inquisitiveness, the passion for the visual and the story telling. It allowed me to further my skills in taking the complicated and making it understandable, ‘helping people make sense of their data’, if you will.
The Data School is also, where I met some of the most inspiring people in my career, with Andy Kriebel and Carl Allchin at the top of that list. Both inspired me, not only in terms of skill, but also played a key role in pushing me to be a better version of myself, and I can’t thank either of you enough.
This is also where I first came into contact with the Tableau Community, another key contender in the reasons why I love what I do so much. The welcome, the sharing, the learning and, for lack of a better word, the networking is incredible. Without you, I would not be where I am today!
Today, I am the Self-Service Analytics Coach for EMEA at Cargill. I am, to this day, still not sure how I was lucky enough to get this job.
Michael: Can you discuss how you use Tableau and Alteryx in your current role and a little bit about what you do there?
I get to spend my days helping people learn about data viz, using Tableau and Power BI and how to wrangle data in Alteryx and other tools and I get to help build a community of data users across the globe.
Michael: Can you tell my readers about your involvement as Chapter Co-Leader of The Netherlands #DataPlusWomen? Can you also tell us a little bit about #DataPlusWomen?
Absolutely! At Data Plus Women, what we aim for is to create an atmosphere of inclusion. Luckily, I have never felt at a disadvantage as a woman in what has been seen as a male dominated environment, but I am fully aware that this is not the case for everyone. By putting women at the forefront of this initiative, having women present and organize, we hope to create a safe space for growth, sharing and learning.
If there is one change I could make, is I would be to make this a Data Plus People group. Women are not the only minority and I am keen to get everyone seen and heard!
Michael: What is next on your “To Do” list? What can the Tableau community expect to see from you in the near future?
Amanda: During Covid and the social isolation, mental health has become very important to me and I’ve come to realize I’m not he only one. I’d like to spend more time focusing on using data to highlight mental health and how it affects all of us.
One last thing! In keeping with my huge appreciation for the Tableau Community, I just wanted to say a big thank you to you Michael, for being such an active part of this community, helping to bring people together and helping us all learn form each other!
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