After what seemed like both an eternity and the blink of an eye simultaneously, cohort DSAU6 commenced their first week at The Data School Downunder after a two month delay due to COVID-19. It didn’t take long for me to notice some significant differences between my new role in The Data School and previous roles I have held in Digital Media.

Both Are Data Rich Environments, So What’s the Difference?

It’s interesting to note that even though you deal with massive amounts of data in Digital Media (often collected from Google Ads, Facebook Manager or a Display platform, over the course of one or many campaigns), Media agencies, in particular smaller ones, are ill-equipped to use this data. The frustrating truth is that, while data should guide decision making, Media agencies prioritise data analysis quite low. That isn’t to say they don’t care at all, they will almost always use data when they make decisions for campaigns, but rarely will they use it appropriately or to its full potential.
Now you’ve probably seen where I’m going with this, and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that a place called “The Data School” is likely day and night compared to what I’ve just described. So, without further ado, yes – The Data School has an extremely different approach from my previous roles, and the reason for this is because data analysis is the top priority here. For me that resonates strongly with what I enjoy and want to pursue professionally; for you, the reader, if this resonates with you as well, then perhaps The Data School is for you too! If you would like to find out more about the application process you can either explore the website or read my fellow peers’ blogs on the subject matter.

So, What Does One Week at The Data School Look Like?

The week started as you might expect, with formal introductions and a healthy dose of admin. However, once the mundane, but necessary, setup work was done, we booted up our brand-new computers and dived into the world of Alteryx. The application process had only involved the use of Tableau and whispers of this mysterious program called Alteryx, that would make all our lives better. How little did I know! Coming from a working environment where I constantly endeavoured to neatly join multiple sources of data (and automate the process), Alteryx had me feeling like a kid in a candy store. We spent the rest of our short (courtesy of the long weekend), first week learning the basics of Alteryx and use cases for some of its most popular tools.

So, that’s what the first week looked like from a practical view, but what did it look like for someone just starting their new career in data analytics? Well, at risk of sounding a little (or a lot) corny, it had me thinking about all the possibilities and opportunities The Data School would open up for me in my career path. It has quickly become apparent that I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to spend four whole months simply learning the tools of my trade!

What two days of learning Alteryx looks like.


What can you take away from this blog post? If there’s one thing I really want to emphasise its that if you truly enjoy working with data, but perhaps don’t have the academic or working background for it, or you are simply looking for that first job in your career, then seriously consider applying for The Data School. On this same train of thought, for anyone currently working in Digital Media who isn’t satisfied with how their data is being used, consider educating yourself outside of what you know and you may be happily surprised at what follows!

On the off chance this has piqued your interest, stay tuned for more blog posts on my journey and some tips on ways to use Alteryx and Tableau.



Patrick Breis
Author: Patrick Breis