Tech moves fast. Here's how these Austin companies stay on the cutting edge

June 13, 2019

Now that nearly every industry has received a technical upgrade to some degree, trends are changing faster than ever. How companies stay ahead of those trends may vary, but the need for data and ongoing customer engagement is at an all-time high. Built In Austin spoke to three Austin companies to learn how they manage to keep up with the always-changing tech scene.

 

amherst
image via amherst

For a time, operating in the real estate space with ample amounts of research was enough to remain competitive. But that’s not quite the case anymore. Amherst’s Head of Research and Analytics Sandeep Bordia talked to us about the role data insights play in today’s market, and what they are building to stay ahead.

 

How do you stay ahead of the curve as a business? Can you share any examples of ways you've adapted or evolved the business to stay ahead?    

Our mindset of “there has to be a better way of doing everything” is instrumental in keeping us ahead of the curve. Back in the day, it was enough to have an information advantage to stay ahead in the real estate business – not anymore. Today, one has to complement greater data access with the innovative ability to impart intelligence to the raw data. That ability to impart intelligence to data is what really sets Amherst apart and helps us build industry leading models and tools to better price, operate and manage real estate than ever before.

Our mindset of there has to be a better way of doing everything is instrumental in keeping us ahead of the curve.”

What new technologies/tools/trends are you excited about or eyeing for future initiatives?

The real estate industry is at the cusp of inevitable innovation and will no longer operate as it did in the 1970s or 1980s. In particular, we are excited about incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques into many of our current and future initiatives. It is our belief that these technologies will transform all aspects of the real estate business including sourcing, pricing, acquisition and management.

 

new knowledge austin
photo via new knowledge

New Knowledge’s engineering department provides the data that is used by their data scientists, computational disinformation analysts and engineers to identify and monitor manipulative and false information on the internet for their clients. Ben Starling, the director of engineering, shared what recent investment they made to handle their vast amounts of data more efficiently.

 

How do you stay ahead of the curve as a business? Can you share any examples of ways you've adapted or evolved the business to stay ahead?

Our ability to ingest, transform and load data in a timely fashion is critical to the operation of our business. This means our data warehouse must be flexible and capable of handling large volumes of data. Recently, we embarked on a project where we implemented Snowflake as our primary data warehouse. Snowflake can scale automatically to handle varying concurrency demands with its virtual warehouse feature, adding compute resources during peak load periods and scaling down when loads subside while keeping storage costs low. This has allowed us to greatly expand the functionality we can expose to our internal and external customers while maintaining a robust and flexible data warehouse.

In addition, we are constantly investing in our ability to continuously deploy in a reliable, automated fashion with zero downtime. We’re always looking to improve, but we have reached a point where our developers can deploy any service they own as often as they like in an automated fashion.

We are constantly investing in our ability to continuously deploy in a reliable, automated fashion with zero downtime.”

What new technologies/tools/trends are you excited about or eyeing for future initiatives?

Our pipeline is backed by Apache Kafka, so we're keeping a close eye on Flink, KSQL and other libraries in the streaming ecosystem that will allow us to move a larger portion of our workload to a streaming paradigm.

As our data pipeline and machine learning capabilities have become more complex, we've begun a process to standardize these jobs and provide a framework so our data scientists can easily try experiments on production data. To enable this work, we are evaluating different workflow schedulers with an eye for how well they integrate with Kubernetes.

 

modernize
photo via modernize.

Modernize digitally connects homeowners with home improvement contractors in their area. That means the company must always have a pulse on homeowner needs and pain points. How they do it? Jamie Smith, Modernize’s director of homeowner communication, let us know.

 

How do you stay ahead of the curve as a business? Can you share any examples of ways you've adapted or evolved the business to stay ahead?    

We survey our homeowners constantly to understand their needs, how we are adding value and where we can improve. Our team runs competitive analyses for email and SMS consistently to stay ahead of new trends. The entire Modernize team regularly brings us great experiences they have with customers that we can reflect on and test within our homeowner experience.

The entire Modernize team regularly brings us great experiences they have with customers that we can reflect on and test within our homeowner experience.”

What new technologies/tools/trends are you excited about or eyeing for future initiatives?

Modernize’s focus is on the homeowner experience and how to make home improvement less stressful. It's a difficult challenge but our team's communication-driven vision makes this very exciting. We're focused on finding the most preferable way to communicate with our homeowners on a one-on-one basis through different mediums such as phone, SMS and email. Those in technology can understand the technical lift it takes to manage the one-on-one relationship and marketers understand how important it is to keep users engaged. We get to sit in between both technology and marketing to achieve this goal.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog17 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Marketing
Operations
Product
Sales
Marketing
new
Modernize
Austin
Product
new
Amherst
Austin
Marketing
new
Modernize
Austin
Marketing
new
Modernize
Austin
Marketing
new
Modernize
Austin
Marketing
new
Amherst
Austin
Finance
new
Amherst
Austin
Operations
new
Amherst
Austin
Marketing
new
Amherst
Austin
Operations
new
Amherst
Austin
Finance
new
Amherst
Austin
Finance
new
Amherst
Austin
Sales
new
Modernize
Austin
Sales
new
Modernize
Austin
Sales
new
Modernize
Austin

Austin startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Austin
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Austin
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Austin
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Austin
Developer Jobs
View 201 jobs
Design + UX Jobs
View 23 jobs
Marketing Jobs
View 62 jobs
Product Jobs
View 42 jobs
Sales Jobs
View 180 jobs
Data Jobs
View 45 jobs