Whoops updates never happened, but I am excited to say we won first place!
Check out the summary of the challenge here: NYC Foster Care Data Challenge Winners
The challenges: There were a few challenges, but I'll start with the most obvious. My teammates were on the East Coast while I was on the West so it was difficult coordinating times to chat about the project. I quickly learned that communication is a bit more difficult when you are on the phone or using videochat; there are delays on the videochat services, you can't quite gage what your team members reactions are since you can't always see their facial expression. Another challenge was none of us were data scientist, their backgrounds are in UX and I have experience in analysis from my biology research, so we weren't sure about the process should be or where to begin.
What I learned: When working in a group you need to be flexible and mindful of each other's schedules and commitments; communication is key! Use Slack! I had forgot about this amazing tool and instead we texted and emailed too much and information got lost and didn't always make it to all team mates! If we had used Slack I think this would have made things easier for everyone. When you are in a group everyone has great ideas and opinions so if you are confident about your idea you must have evidence to back it up, be adamant and persuasive to ensure your team chooses it as part of the plan! Trust in your team members. If they have an expertise in a subject matter you may want to make sure you run those parts of the project by them (to get feedback) or have that person lead that part of the project. The most important less I learned is even if you do not feel ready you should still try, this was my first Data Challenge and it was fantastic, even if we hadn't won, I had still learned a ton! #FakeItUntilYouMakeIt