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My Portfolio: Compiling Data Analysis and Coding Projects

by Nolan Beck '22, Career Ambassador Mar 21, 2022

As you complete projects, you leave behind a clear track record of the skills which you have learned. 

Unfortunately for many people, myself included, those projects often lie digitally dormant on a forgotten flash drive or Google Drive Folder, never again to be referenced.  However, bringing those projects together to provide a clear record of your competencies can be useful for both personal and professional development.

For some context,  I’m an Accounting major on the Data Analytics track.  With this cross between business and data science, I have used software such as Excel, Tableau, SAS Enterprise Miner, and others, while learning the basics of the Python and SQL programming languages.  So my fellow business students, data analytics gurus, and computer science aficionados may find my methods here of particular utility.  For writers, check out last week’s blog written by Career Ambassador Genevieve O’Connor; for visual and performing art creators, keep an eye out for next week’s blog from Career Ambassadors Lauren Linder and Grace Wyckoff.

As a part of the Data Analytics track, in the Fall 2021 semester I took MI-462: Applied AI Platforms and Projects.  For this course, I had to track down old projects and bring them together in a portfolio that could be professionally presented.  While there are different resources that could be used, my class chose to do this via a GitHub repository.

One of the great advantages of portfolios is how they allow you to organize your skills in a systematic way that is clear to both you and a potential employer.  To this end, GitHub gives the user the ability to group projects by software, language, or project type using the repository’s “branch” attribute.  When you do this, be selective!  For beginners, you might deem it best to include everything you have, because you don’t have many different projects to highlight.  However, practiced programmers and veteran data analysts have the luxury of parsing through the full catalog of work and choosing those projects which highlight the different and unique skills that have been accrued.

If you consistently upload your new projects to your GitHub portfolio, you can see the evolution of your skill with each software or language.  Furthermore, it also provides easy access for future reference should you ever need to remember how you did something.  You can save space on your own devices by deleting those projects, with the knowledge that you’ll always be able to access them through this other location.

Professionally, having such a collection on GitHub makes it easy to display your competencies to employers or clients.  Provided that it is open for public display, you can effortlessly give them the link to your portfolio so that they may peruse your work for themselves.  Additionally, if you have a LinkedIn profile , you can add a link to your portfolio that a prospective recruiter may readily access.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn yet, consider reading alumna Career Ambassador Kelsey Smith’s post on LinkedIn profiles.

If you would like to view my own portfolio, as an example of what one can look like, you can visit it here.  My main branch contains a brief synopsis of myself and my long-term goals, and I have 7 other accessible branches containing samples of my work in the different technological disciplines:

  • Excel
    • Class project which shows the application of mathematical/analytical principles to auditing work
  • Other-Files
    • Free-lance Labeling work I did for Sigma AI
    • Written commentary on some artificial intelligence concepts
  • Python
    • Project analyzing basketball data from the 2020-2021 NBA season
    • Example of a neural network run through Python
  • Robotics-Processing-Automation
    • Steps toward creating a bot using Blue Prism RPA Solutions
  • SAS-Enterprise-Miner
    • Report and accompanying presentation detailing analysis of data from KickStarter
  • SQL
    • Example of basic SQL coursework
  • Tableau-and-Tableau-Prep-Builder
    • Preparation and visualization of minimum wage data

All in all, GitHub is a useful platform on which to consolidate projects.  Can other mediums be used?  Absolutely.  Those savvy enough with HTML may choose to build their own personal website on which to present their portfolio.  Another platform sometimes used is Bootstrap.  But as GitHub is the industry standard, it is the medium which I recommend.

Your portfolio is a personal display, in which you can show off all of your best work.  So keep yourself competitive in the job market, keep track of your progress, and put one together!

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