Learning New Skills With Data

Over the weekend, I completed my second course from Coursera in my quest for my Data Analysis certification journey. I wanted to expand my knowledge, and little did I comprehend how beneficial taking this certification would help me in my life. I pay attention to a lot of things. My attention to detail hasn’t always been stellar, but I’m learning to fine-tune that area in my life. If you want examples, I’ve noticed things in other people’s behaviors that I wouldn’t have seen and begun to simulate their actions with what’s important with my actions. For example, I am using data that I’m collecting about events in the area and how my church can best serve a younger demographic and target audience. I’ve inquired and recorded specific answers. I am compiling a report that will help me present others with statistical information about what’s needed and requested.


As I’ve begun my journey, I’ve had people in my life who slam me on social media. I was once incredibly close with these people, and I’ve been pulling the knives they inserted in my back. To those who repeat these instances, learn to accept when you are wrong. Move on with your life and stop trying to throw everyone else under the bus. I had someone recently tell me of a conversation they had with my ex-husband over an observation I made. To him, I make no apology for how he took the statement. The statement was not cruel, but instead a good comment. And to the people who felt compelled to start high school drama, go back to high school. I own my mistakes, and I don’t make apologies for saying what I think. I’ve gotten much milder over the years and a lot less bitter. These types of people are the reason I am learning new skills. I have no time for their theatrics and only mention their actions because it provides a bit of understanding of why I’m so focused and driven to make positive changes.


One of the things these courses teach me is never to stop asking questions. None of us know everything. There will always be new content to be explored. Many people are in higher positions because of their never-ending quest to push for excellence. They don’t allow others to step all over their dreams. They remain diligent and focused.


I wanted to learn more about social media and marketing. I went to school and obtained my certification, but I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t figure out what my passion was, and yet I would study the insights religiously. It wasn’t until my friend Shari mentioned Data Analysis that I even contemplated studying that field. When she explained what the occupation entailed, I realized I had been using data analysis all along. Now I needed to get the credentials and have a way for others to see I knew what I was talking about instead of assuming.


The first course challenged me with the terminology and concepts. I could conceptualize a lot of what the videos and tests forced me to learn. As the course progressed, I found myself getting anxious when taking the tests, and there were a few times I had to take the test more than once. When I stopped worrying about what other people were insinuating and focused on achieving my goals and dreams, I was in control.


The second course was more challenging and more straightforward all at the same time. I use these concepts daily, and those came naturally, but thinking like a data analyst made me question qualitative and quantitative data and apply it in my life.


As I continue to embark on this journey, I’m grateful to those who keep pushing me forward. Those who have nothing better to do can stay in the rearview mirror because I’m finally finding where I fit. Take a look at the data in your life. No, I’m not just talking about the numerical data in your finances, but rather look at the events and priorities in your life and compile them into mental data. Are you getting the most out of your experiences, or is there room for improvement? If there’s room, I hope you begin to see the options around you and don’t let others rein in your happiness.

Families are essential, and so are friendships, but new skills always serve us well. Use every opportunity to acquire new skills and meet new people. Through those encounters, we find where we need to explore and what we need to leave behind. Data is constantly changing, just like life itself. We as a people change every minute of the day. Does the question then become what data we will allow ourselves to compute today? Have a great day, everyone.

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