Sep 28, 2013
going into my interview with tresata – a fresh-faced (maybe naïve…okay still totally naïve) grad from davidson college, i was excited about the opportunity to be a part of an up-and-coming start-up company that creates software to manage and take advantage of the big data phenomenon. as someone who studied sociology, i think it’s amazing: all the crazy things you can learn about a person (or customer) just by looking at their social media interactions alone (check-ins, facebook, twitter, pinterest, news blogs…etc.) – add all of that to credit transactions they make and the standard demographic info you already know – and you can completely create a comprehensive profile of that person (or customer). this individualized profile can allow you to understand exactly the kinds of things a person does, wants to do, and eventually will do. apply this (big) data to a business’s marketing mix, and you have a delicious recipe for success.
neato right? i know, i thought so too, which is why i was super stoked to get to interview with tresata and learn about their products and business model. but i’m going to be completely honest. my first impression of tresata made me sweat a bit (yep! i blogged it!) are you ready for it?
okay, so the first thing i noticed after walking into the tresata office is a giant ping-pong table. ick.
yeah. inorite? so for some people, this maybe a sign of a ‘cool’ or ‘fun’ work environment… but for me, it’s a sign of my unavoidable fate: embarrassment and defeat. (oh great man in the sky, have mercy!)
outside of this awful and ridiculous encounter (what is this? google??!) my interview process at tresata was eye-opening and …dare I say?… pretty cool?
my interview was with the big man himself (no, not that man), abhishek mehta, one of the founders of tresata (but everyone here calls him ‘abhi.’) abhi asked me about myself and how I could contribute to tresata. i gave him the typical, but genuine spiel of most recent college grads: “i’m interested in big data and i’m smart, dependable, organized…blah blah blah.”
abhi told me that tresata is made up of a small team that works together and runs the entire operation: the software creation, data engineering, marketing, communication – everything. the charlotte office alone had everyone sitting together and working, on a long table (yup…no offices…cubies…partitions) including abhi. it seemed crazy…yet extremely efficient. he told me to be a part of the team. he needed to know if i would be able to join the busy, working force of a start-up business.
he gave me 3 tasks:
this was the kind of work that he would need from me, if i were to pass the test (aka get the job)… and he wanted it soon. “i’ll be available to review your work tomorrow or in 3 days.” *gulp*
completing these projects in 3 days was a no-brainer, but the next day? that is insane. however, when the boss of a company you want to work for tells you, “i’ll be really impressed – if you can get it all done by tomorrow,” you have to do it. real talk though, i was sweating chicken soup.
(are memes even allowed in professional blogs?)
the next day, i roll into the office with a poster for the pitch, a power point presentation about the tech, a fun blog entry about the company and 3 hours of sleep. i could tell that abhi was impressed with my work. but when i was giving my presentation on why tresata’s technology is revolutionary, i seemed to be getting something wrong…even though i knew all my research had been right.
i talked about ‘tree’ –the software that tresata created to fuse different types of data together. i also mentioned ‘orion’ – the technology that helps analyze sets of data, which can help a business predict trends or foresee potential risks. both of tresata’s premier applications can be combined together to produce even better results for a client. i even talk about the dataindex and how it’s unique because its an encyclopedia of data, customized and created for each business’s needs. i tell him that all of tresata’s crazy products and their capabilities are ‘game-changing,’ because there is absolutely nothing like them on the market! tresata is a pioneer!
then abhi corrects me. “sure, all of our product’s capabilities do matters, but how these products actually help our clients solve problems or expand their business matters so much more,” he told me. “we don’t just push our products on to people, instead, we ask them what are some problems or areas needing improvement in your business? next, we talk with businesses about how big data can be used to solve these issues. tresata’s software is, simply-put, an extremely useful tool that allows for big data to be transformed into capital.”
now, i know a humble-brag when i hear it. i know that tresata’s software are more than just tools. even so, it seems that tresata’s mission is not to just create new technology, but to create technologies that will help other businesses take advantage of the big data revolution. in other words, they want to share the knowledge. for example, if a grocery chain is deciding on what brand and products to sell at its stores, tresata’s tech can help. the software will enable to the grocery chain use internal and external data to learn about its customer’s habits. tresata can also show enterprises how to communicate with their customers through up-to-date and appropriate channels, such as social media, to find out when and what they want to buy.
with big data, there is so much existing information that businesses can utilize… to personalize customer services, forecast opportunities and threats…etc. tresata knows this and want to bring this content – through software like tree and orion – to the world in an easier, more sensible fashion.
i ended up landing the job with tresata and am just beginning my first week of work. from what i can tell so far, it will be an amazing organization to work for. (you know you got it made when a company provides you healthcare! holla!) the team is passionate about the direction technology is taking and wants to show others how to use big data and capitalize on it. i’m pretty pumped to be part of tresata and the big data movement. oh, and that flowchart I made for the second interview… abhi said that tresata would use it as a part of the website! sweet! (i’m bragging, but I will share the link when it is out! #winning)
back to the more serious subject… i’m going to need to find a secret stash place for those ping-pong paddles. a.s.a.p….actually, make that the entire table. maybe if they don’t see it, they’ll forget it ever existed. tresata is great and all, but, is a huge ping-pong table really an efficient use of office space? come on guys..come on (this is not me but my fear of losing talking!!…abhi wanted me to add that)