Our Winning Rising Star: Matt Austin 

We always knew Matt Austin’s star was in the ascendant, but his position in the firmament was fixed forever when he was shortlisted as a finalist in the Adwanted Media Research Awards 2024 Rising Star category, in January, this year.

And he’s only gone and WON IT! Congratulations to our very own supernova!

Matt’s held celestial status since he lit up our Zoom calls, when he joined Tapestry as a Data  Analyst during the depths of lockdown, quickly rising to the role of Data Analytics Manager. We couldn’t miss this opportunity to reveal more about our stellar fella… 

Multi-talented Matt excelling at our team Bake Off challenge!

How did you get into Market Research? 

Matt: At Uni I discovered that with a bit of coercion and manipulation (and often a lot of frustration), data can tell stories. Being able to uncover stories through stats is fascinating and something I wanted to do more of, and market research was the perfect place do this!  

I fell on my feet with Tapestry – it’s the perfect blend of support and freedom; the team is full of (very friendly) experts who are always more than happy to help, answer questions, or tell an awful joke.  I also get opportunities to work things out and explore things on my own.   

I’ve worked with a variety of clients and on so many different projects; there’s always a new approach or an interesting insight to get to. I’m able to apply theoretical concepts to real-life data, and I’ve worked on many varied projects, from spray-on vitamins to mathematically modelling the living room.  

What are your 3 biggest successes?  

Matt: When I graduated, I moved to Hanoi, Vietnam and taught English as a Foreign Language (taking great pride in being an English teacher with a Maths degree!). But the culture shift and being dropped into an environment that was so unlike anything I had ever experienced before, gave a massive boost to both my self-confidence and my ability to adapt to challenging (and often very strange!) scenarios.  

This, along with huge support from my colleagues here at Tapestry, has led to me presenting to the higher-ups at top companies, and has given me the confidence to suggest new avenues of analysis that potentially could have been missed. Being at Tapestry has helped me decide what direction I want to take in my career: I’ve had the support to build on things I already know and have the freedom to learn and explore new avenues of analytics that I find really exciting. 

What’s your favourite type of analysis and why? 

Matt: It would definitely be hard to pick just one type – they’re all so useful!  

Factors and drivers are great when we want to do a nice quick bit of analysis that can tell us how statements are grouped, or how much of an influence one thing has on another.  

Segmentations are one of my favourite types of projects to work on – they usually give us an opportunity to really discover more about the consumer and work out what they’re thinking; it’s fascinating to go from a few rows of numbers in a spreadsheet, to building a library of personas for consumers.  

I would say my favourite projects to work on are those where I’ve got time to really explore. Being given the time to dive in, get to know the data and follow through some chains of analysis, are where I really feel I thrive. Whether its Structural Equation Modelling, a multi-level segmentation approach, or imputation methods in data fusion. If there’s an avenue to explore, then I want to explore it. 

Photoboming co-founders Ian & Kevin

What advice would you give to a young fresh impressionable Maths, Stats or Data graduate starting out on their career? 

Matt: Sometimes it can feel like the route for Maths’ grads is set pretty straight: Graduate. Get a job in Finance.  

The best thing I ever did was take a bit of time to really think about what I wanted to do, and not be afraid to step away from the expected path. Before I found Tapestry, I didn’t really understand why Data Analytics would be useful in Market Research, and I still have to explain to my (maths-y) mates what I actually do at my job. But I’m not sure there are many other places where I would have the freedom to use the skills I learnt at Uni, in such a real-world environment. A Maths degree can open many doors, so my advice would be to make sure you open a few of them before you commit yourself to just one!  

Relaxing while letting Elle do all the hard work at our team away days punting activity

The winners of the Adwanted Media Research Awards 2024 were announced on 6th March… and we couldn’t be more proud! Congratulations to all the winners, and nominees.