Vee Collins
United Kingdom

"I had absolutely no idea how much things could change just by studying a few hours a week."

While working as an Administration Assistant in the United Kingdom, Vee Collins participated in two of the three Data Analysis MOOCs: Data Analysis with Excel: Take It to the MAX(), and Data Analysis: Visualization and Dashboard Design. Read about her experience.

What was your motivation for enrolling in these courses?
I decided to start training with TU Delft after a long term illness left me unable to continue to work as a Broadcast Engineer. Due to my new working constraints I had been mainly undertaking data entry work and decided to sign up with edX after realizing better Excel skills could make my day much easier. I had absolutely no idea how much things could change just by studying a few hours a week. Employed primarily to undertake data cleansing prior to a database upgrade, my job has transformed from line by line data checking to undertaking complex data analysis. Having quickly become adept at creating complex Excel functions I have also had the confidence to begin programming in VBA.

Although hired as an administrative assistant I have already undertaken several data analysis projects, working with financial and time data. I am currently working on a solution to enable eighteen countries to reconcile maintenance schedules on bespoke contracts from uniquely formatted data located across several systems. I would be quite lost without array formulas and I am using the other techniques given in the Data Analysis courses daily. With my new Excel skills my job has gone from quite mundane tasks to a constant flow of new challenges, just like I used to enjoy as a Broadcast Engineer.

How would you describe your online learning experience?
One of the best things about online learning is the ability to undertake the course in your own time. These Delft courses give you three weeks to complete your first assignment so you genuinely have enough leeway to finish the course whilst getting on with other commitments. The benefit of following a MOOC is that as well as TA support there is always an opportunity to have discussions with the thousands of other people taking the course.

The lecturer is superb, it is easy to watch someone so enthusiastic and engaged with their topic and makes for enjoyable learning. The online learning environment is very clear and easy to follow, it allows you to easily track where you are in the course and to monitor your progress.