From Box Scores to BI: Connor Burton’s Journey to Tessellation

Early Interest in Data

My path into the world of data analytics is one that started at a young age with box scores. A box score is basically a table of numbers that summarizes each player’s performance in a sporting event. To some, a box score may just look like a bunch of names, letters, and numbers, but to me, it has always been more than meets the eye. I see it as the story of the game – which team won, how many points/runs/goals/etc. they scored, which players had the biggest impact on the outcome, and so much more. It has always been so fascinating to me how much information can be gathered from such a basic table, and whether I knew it or not, I believe that is part of what guided me into data visualization.

Throughout my childhood and high school, math and science were always my favorite subjects, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career related to one, or both, of those. There were so many different fields of study that sounded interesting, but the one that stood out to me above the rest was data science. I attended the College of Charleston to obtain my undergraduate degree in data science with a cognate in supply chain management. This deepened my love for working with data while introducing me to new topics, ideas, and ways of thinking. It opened my eyes to how much data exists in our lives and to the endless ways that it could be utilized.

How I Started a Career in Data Visualization

Some of my first professional exposure to data visualization was through an internship in college where I learned how to use Tableau and Power BI. At the time, I thought these were valuable skills to have and enjoyed learning them but never would’ve guessed that I could turn it into a career. For someone like myself who loved working with numbers but wasn’t the biggest fan of coding, data visualization ended up being the perfect route for me. With tools like Power BI, I am able to transform raw data into insightful visualizations using little to no code.

After gaining two years of experience using Power BI at a larger consulting firm, I discovered Tessellation on LinkedIn. The idea of a company that had such a big focus on data visualization was really interesting to me, and I was excited to learn more. I read through some of their blogs, case studies, and capabilities and thought that a consulting role with this company would be a great fit for me. I have now been at Tessellation for just over two months, and I am very happy to be a part of the team. There are so many wonderful people, interesting projects, an energetic and encouraging culture, and endless opportunities to learn and grow. I am thankful that I have been able to turn a childhood fascination into something that I enjoy doing for a living, and I look forward to continuing that with Tessellation.

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