Upstairs in NuLu’s Green Building, a team is working to help people make better decisions. They’re not counselors or psychologists, though. This is Edj Analytics, and they’re using science and technology to minimize the distractions of biases, risk aversion, and other human shortcomings that hinder our decision-making ability.
It started with football. Ten years ago, Frank Frigo, former energy marketing and trading executive, and Chuck Bower, former Indiana University astrophysicist, had the idea that NFL coaches could improve play calling through a simulation model.
They built a platform that can be taught to run simulations of possible plays (not unlike playing a computer trained to play backgammon) in a game situation to assess the decisions of NFL coaches. That product is called ZEUS, and Edj Analytics has counted several NFL teams as clients.
But it’s not all about football. Today Edj Analytics uses this technology to help lower readmission rates in hospitals and increase student retention in universities. A common theme in many applications is the ability to analyze a person’s data to predict how they may behave in the future. Imagine the possibilities.
Working with the Edj team
“Working for Edj Analytics feels more like being part of a science grant research team than going to a typical job,” says Brandon Debes a database administrator at Edj Analytics.
Edj Analytics Business Strategist Moses Icyishaka explains further, “We build models that are better at making decisions than humans.”
One of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Hot Dozen companies, Edj Analytics is growing. This past spring, the company landed $2.4 million in local investment to close a Series A round.
“We recently just took over the third floor,” Stacey Langan, director of human resources, said. “We had to give up some things like the putting green while we were cramped into our second floor office,” she said, motioning to the open office. “But it’s back now.”
“It’s a tight knit group,” Langan said of the 14 employees, “We have happy hours together, we go bowling as a group.”
One important destination: volunteering at the kitchen at Wayside Mission on Jefferson Street.
“We walk there together,” Langan said. “It’s fun, but it’s also eye-opening. Our community outreach is all employee-led. If anyone wants to do it, we consider it.”
Edj Analytics offers unlimited paid time off, and what Langan described as a family atmosphere.
“People come and go freely physically and that goes for ideas and concepts across the board,” Langan said. “The attitude is come as you are, be as you are.”
Growing with the team
“You can bring out your own edge – what is it about you that will help us grow?” Langan said, “Everyone here has an edge to them.”
“You can contribute meaningfully no matter where you are,” Langan said. “We want to have interns when possible. We’re always recruiting for the right fit.”
Some people are surprised by the freedom and autonomy at Edj, but it is inspiring and motivating to the team.
“We all are self motivated but we’re working on the same goals,” Langan said. “Your boss is not looking over your shoulder, watching you work. ”
Flexibility and personal time works for us, she added, and for Sean O’Leary, CEO and co-founder, family comes first.
Edj Analytics is seeking to grow their ranks to help transform technical data into stories, and is currently seeking a Chief Data Scientist. This role speaks to one who stays updated on technological advances and industry trends, subsequently and successfully advising the team on scientific matters; including making recommendations on future projects, new research opportunities and technological ventures.
One can expect to be in the “weeds”, requiring discipline-specific knowledge, while at the same time working to promote the efficiency, profitability, and competitive position of the company.
As with all positions at Edj, Langan said, a team member might be hired for a certain skill set, but should expect to wear multiple hats. “We need to be agile and flexible, with a creative curiosity,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anyone here not working outside of their comfort zone.”
“Since we’re so focused on data-driven decision making at Edj, we have an environment where you can’t get away with just following conventional wisdom. Your opinions will be challenged, and you have to be able to back them up,” says Dennis Gomer, a data scientist at Edj Analytics.
A complete description for the position can be found here.
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