Analyzing the Impact of Quarantine | Graduate Spotlight

Jul 13, 2020
Jessica Grande



Alan Brunlinger of Part-time Analytics Cohort 2 enjoys troubleshooting and problem solving. After years in an IT career, he decided it was time to concentrate on helping solve problems through data analytics. 

“Nashville Software School (NSS) came highly recommended by a coworker,” he shares, “NSS is an environment that helps you develop your own excellence.”

I believe that information and the wisdom to know what to do with it are key to success, and now [I] have the opportunity to provide that success to others.”


During the six-month bootcamp, Alan definitely faced some challenges. Just three months into bootcamp, his class moved online because of COVID-19. “Transitioning to [remote learning] was a definite challenge,” he says, “it actually inspired my capstone!” By the end of the bootcamp, he was proud of how the students and instructors in his cohort embraced the change and shared, “learning together and identifying our strengths and weaknesses brought all of us a lot closer.”

When asked what advice he would pass down to current or future NSS students, he shares, “Ask for help, help yourself, and stay curious! Keeping that ‘beginner's mind’ will best equip you for your desired career. Even when you get tired, try learning another way to tackle a problem. Finding new solutions humbles us and encourages us to continue our work as students.” 


Alan’s capstone project is an analysis on lifestyle and outlook during quarantine. 

He created a survey he shared among the Nashville Tech community to collect data on the following topics: 

  • How they spent their free time
  • What environment they lived in
  • How they felt about their lives and the world around them

He also used data from the U.S. Census to gather income statistics for the Nashville area. “I pulled out the data into Excel and built out some additional aggregations and booleans based on the answers provided before pulling that data into Python. From there I addressed my primary data question: 'What elements have a particularly strong correlation on someone's outlook?'” he explains. 

Once he studied the correlations in Python and visualized them using Seaborn and PowerBI, he found that most people that had an average overall outlook had a weakened correlation between lifestyle and personal outlooks, citing that “people come from very different environments invest their free time in ways that make them personally feel happy. So my initial expectation of saying ‘exercise makes you happy’ and ‘not enough time outside makes you sad’ had to undergo some adjustments.”

“I still got an amazing look at the data set,” Alan states. According to his findings, “participants from the ages of 30 - 45 have a much stronger relationship between income and outlook. Participants with low outlook scores spend 10 less hours a week sleeping and 10 more hours a week working compared to participants with a high outlook score. Those with low scores have a large void of unaccounted time in my survey on lifestyle activities.” 

Below are items with a correlation coefficient of nearly 0, according to Alan’s results (no relationship to someone's outlook): 

  • How many people you live with
  • How much time you spend studying
  • If you work at least 15 hours/week
  • If you live with another person
  • If you work from home
  • If you spend time outside. 

“I really enjoyed discovering the insights above from my survey, even if they weren't at all what I was expecting,” he shares. “This project has been a wonderful challenge from start to finish, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to study something that I was passionate about!” 

Check out Alan’s GitHub page for a more detailed look at his capstone project. 


Since graduating, Alan is concentrating on advancing his skills in SQL, Python, and visualization. He is looking for a full-time data analyst job that will help him strengthen his skills in web-scraping, natural language processing, and predictive modeling. “Be it problem solving or charting a way forward, I now have the tools to embrace my favorite kind of work.”

Learn more about Alan by visiting his LinkedIn page or listening to his podcast

Check out all the recent grads at Part-time Data Analytics 2's website and hear the graduates share their experience at NSS and capstone projects in their podcasts below.


Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Analytics + Data Science