Ken has been working for Juice Analytics for 7 years. He is the COO, Chief Operations Officer. He is from Atlanta and received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He lives in here in Atlanta with his wife and 3 kids.
Home Roam: Roam Dunwoody
1. Why did you choose to join Roam and what has kept you here?
Basically, we came for the coffee and stayed for the community. We opened an Atlanta office 7 years ago and we had a physical office. The negotiation of a new lease fell through and we knew we needed to find somewhere else to go. We checked Roam out and thought it would be a good temporary office space while we negotiated another lease. However, when we started working at Roam, we found ourselves collaborating much better together. As a result, we now have a dedicated Roam office in Alpharetta that allows for us to persist our design-thinking on the walls. And tables. And windows. But the part that has really paid off is our connection to the Roam community. Every week I see someone at Roam that I haven’t connected with in a while. Roam has enabled Juice to maintain relationships with our community in a way that we never could have with our own office lease.
2. Why are you passionate about what you’re accomplishing through your business?
I’m passionate about what we’re doing because we’re making quantitative analytics for non-nerds. Data is everywhere these days. I read an article recently where the author’s niece was withholding judgment on her drawing to see “how many likes it gets at school.” Counting “likes” is so common these days, even our kids get it. We’re all becoming quantitative analysts. However, we at Juice believe that the big blocker for better use of data is not a technical one. It’s social. That’s why every data problem that we tackle is conquered using a user-first approach. We scrutinize our own work (brutally sometimes) to make sure we’ve truly found the data simplicity beyond complexity.
3. Tell me about the book you just released… What inspired your team to write “Data Fluency”? Where can people purchase it?
We were really looking for a movie deal, but decided we’d have to start with a book first. No, not really. The truth is, there are lots of books about data and how to use data. But there was a gap in the area of how an organization can become fluent with data. We think it is through social interactions. When Nathan Yau of flowingdata.com and Wiley (the publisher) contacted us, we felt it was the perfect storm to further promote our data communication philosophies. The book was released on October 20th, and as of this writing, it’s sold out on Amazon (we want to be excited about that, but it’s gotta hurt sales). If you are interested in ordering, you can find it on Amazon or directly from Wiley.
4. What is the advantage for someone in your industry to work in a place like Roam?
Roam reminds me of the old TV show Cheers. You know, “Where everyone knows your name.” As a small company, we all wear a lot of hats, which means little details (like where are we going to take the next conference call) become a nuisance. At Roam, I feel like I have an entire facilities and hospitality staff that’s making sure I don’t get distracted by the daily grind. And here at Roam, the level of service I get is far beyond what a small company could staff to accommodate. When I walk in to either Roam location, I’m greeted by name, they know if I have a meeting scheduled and they’re sure to ask if I need anything. On top of that, it makes our company more successful. There is a high level of connectedness to the Atlanta business community. Before we joined, we were sure to check out all the different kinds of co-working spaces. At Roam we found like-minded members who were serious about running their business, not just raising a round of funding. It is a great community to be in and it sharpens us, making us better.
5. What is your signature spot at Roam?
When I’m in Alpharetta, I most enjoy the patio. However, one of the things I love most about Roam is that I can float. On a day that I’m less busy, I enjoy the bar and enjoy the opportunity to connect with people. Then on days my to-do list is kicking my southern end, I will camp out in a booth or go into the office. That flexibility has enabled each day to be crafted to meet my agenda (and mood).