You don't make any decision (work or life) without first running the numbers. You believe that data can tell a story better than words ever could. You truly can't imagine life without Excel.
It's safe to say that you're a numbers guy or gal.
If this sounds like you, read on. We've peeked inside the doors of five companies that are full of people who feel exactly the same way—and that are always looking to add new data gurus to their teams.
Where: New York
Chartbeat’s job is to bring data to major publishers around the globe. The company's tools allow clients to get a simple, real-time look at what's happening on their sites, bringing meaning and context to how visitors are engaging with their content. “At Chartbeat, we try to make data relevant for everyone," says Marketing Engineer Ben Stahl. "We make it fun, actionable, and easy to understand so you can make important improvements quickly.”
Peek inside Chartbeat's offices, and you'll see walls full of big screens displaying real-time data and writable, problem-solving-at-a-moment’s-notice surfaces. You'll also see a fun-loving team of self-proclaimed "data geeks." Really, really smart ones. Explains Data Scientist Josh Schwartz. “The people here are exemplary. With every single person here, I think, ‘How did we manage to hire that person?’”
Where: Los Angeles
ZestFinance's goal? To help the 60 million Americans who aren't supported by the traditional finance system get access to fair, transparent, and low-cost credit. Using Google-style machine learning algorithms and sophisticated mathematical models, ZestFinance gathers data that goes beyond standard loan criteria, providing more accurate and meaningful credit-risk data. The result? Increased credit availability for borrowers and higher repayment rates for lenders—a win-win situation.
But though the problem ZestFinance is solving is serious, the headquarters is anything but. T-shirts and jeans are not only welcomed at the office, but expected, and staffers take full advantage of perks like catered lunches, free massages, and flexible vacation time. What's more, the company tries to accommodate each employee's interests and goals whenever possible. “ZestFinance is the perfect place for me. It’s big data, but I get to work on the business side and meet with a lot of customers in the company,” shares Product Manager Priyanshu Jain.
Where: San Francisco
Quantcast’s mission is to provide clients with insights into their digital audiences and the tools to deliver targeted advertising to them. Operating 15 data centers around the world, Quantcast intelligently deals with massive quantities of real-time data through hundreds of thousands of transactions every second. Quantcast then interprets and analyzes that data, helping clients understand their target audiences and how to effectively tailor advertising campaigns that will appeal to them.
Founded in 2006, Quantcast is quickly developing into a market leader, but it's retained its startup vibe that employees love. “We’re at that really exciting size where the team is big and there’s a lot of opportunity, but you also still have the ability to have a huge impact on the product,” explains Erica Weiss Tjader, Head of User Experience.
Where: San Francisco
Founded in 2006, Xero is revolutionizing the way small businesses view accounting. With a beautiful, cloud-based product suite of cutting-edge software, Xero makes it easy for business owners, accountants, and bookkeepers to manage company finances, share information across departments, and connect with their customers.
So far? The company's brought a serious dosage of fun into the traditionally buttoned-up industry of accounting. “You don’t usually get accountants and bookkeepers cheering, so it’s fun to be part of a company that’s able to do that type of thing,” says U.S. Training Manager Carla Caldwell. Adds Chief Technology Office Craig Walker, “It’s a serious business, but we’re trying to not take ourselves too seriously and build a culture where people want to come—and actually enjoy—work.”
Where: New York
SeatGeek lets users search for the best deals for tickets to concerts, theater, and sporting events. The site aggregating dozens of ticket sellers—StubHub, eBay, TicketsNow, and more—and organizes tickets not just by price, but by a proprietary Deal Score that lets users find the best values on tickets.
As you'd imagine, most SeatGeekers are music or sports fans, but they're also self-proclaimed “hackers and web geeks.” As Steve Ritter, who heads up the company's research and development, explains: “It’s called SeatGeek—there’re a lot of geeks who work here. Everyone loves data.” Steve himself spends most of his time doing exploratory data analysis, taking one of SeatGeek’s huge data sets, running transformations, and seeing what he can learn—and he loves it. “I knew I wanted to work somewhere I could get up every day and go play with numbers.”