Hands-on experience and real-world data.
As a consultant here at Alpine, I attend several training courses each year. I look forward to these training opportunities because they help me hone skills that I can use on client engagements.
Some training courses are better than others, and I tend to find more value in training that provides “hands-on” experience and real-world scenarios that align with my everyday workload. I feel more engaged when the training material is relevant to my day-to-day work.
I assume that most people feel the same way: Don’t talk to me about driving a car. Let’s drive!
I kept this in mind when Alpine was asked to conduct a training course on IBM i2 Analyst’s Notebook. Instead of putting my colleagues to sleep with long lectures on theory and best practices, let’s get them in the driver’s seat!
A recent training session I delivered on i2 Analyst’s Notebook was held in San Mateo, CA on January 21-23. Ten people from Bay Area law enforcement and government agencies attended.
Being a former law enforcement officer and analyst myself, I knew that those 10 people had different responsibilities and areas of interest. I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to sharpen skills in areas that were important and relevant, but I was also prepared to cover core functional areas of the software.
After covering some of the foundational elements, attendees completed “final project” that showcased their new knowledge and skills. Each attendee was asked to bring a sample of data that was representative of their daily workload. A good portion of the final day of training was devoted to work with this data. It really helped the attendees apply what was covered in the training to their work
This “bring any data” approach may have been a little risky for me as the instructor (you just never know what you may get). Things tend to go smoothly when everyone’s working with a common set of standardized “clean” data.
But the real world isn’t like that. Going back to my days as an intelligence analyst, the data I worked with was far from perfect. Activities that took me minutes to perform with clean data in a training scenario took me hours to figure out once I started using real-world data.
So we took that risk, and each attendee was able to use what they’d learned on their own data. It was the more difficult path for all of us. But that approach helped us identify, discuss, and work through some of the real-world challenges that analysts encounter. As the instructor, I came out of that training with some new perspectives and skills as well.
I am passionate about law enforcement and using technology to protect our communities. I’m excited to continue leading training courses on i2 Analyst’s Notebook and related technologies.
If you’re interested in honing your i2 skills, I’d love to help! Drop us a note and let’s discuss training opportunities specific to your application of the technology.
And check out our i2 tips & tricks series!