Every year, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal announces the fastest-growing private companies in Minnesota in their Fast 50 list. phData is excited to announce we ranked #11 in 2020!
This was made possible by the amazing team we’ve put together and the relationships we’ve built with our customers and our partners. A big thank you to everyone!
Here’s a brief interview with our CEO, Ryan Bosshart, on how we got here and what we’re hoping to accomplish in the coming years.
What are two or three business decisions your executive team made that were critical to your firm’s growth from 2017-2019?
The first is focus. We focus on certain technologies. In our space, there are “go wide” providers and “go deep” providers. phData is the latter. The second is investing in hiring and training processes. phData started with some of the best data engineers in the world. We’re 150 or so people now and I still believe that we have the best team in the world when it comes to data engineering and machine learning.
What is the biggest challenge facing your company right now?
The pace of technological change happening right now is astounding. Machine learning, for example, is evolving rapidly. It’s our job to keep up with these changes and provide clarity to our customers to ensure their success.
What strategies are you using to tackle it?
We’re founded and run by engineers. We know that marketing can run ahead of reality. As a result, our approach has been to get our hands on new technologies as soon as possible. This can happen in several ways. Sometimes we’ll test out the technology ourselves, while in other situations we might co-invest with a customer. Our north star for choosing technologies and partnerships are their ability to serve the long-term needs of our customers.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your firm’s operations?
We saw a significant hit to our business in the first half of this year. We did not lose any customers due to the pandemic, but we did see a large number of delays for new projects. We saw significant improvement in our forecasts starting in June and we’re projecting being back to pre-pandemic revenue levels this year.
Do you anticipate your company’s 2020 revenue will be higher, lower or about the same as 2019? And why?
Despite the pandemic headwinds, we’ll still see growth this year. I attribute this to the actions of our people. Ultimately, COVID-19 was outside of our control. Our teams focused on what was in our control: they did the right thing for our customers and focused on their success. I’m a believer that when you do the right thing for the customer, the financial metrics will follow, and that’s exactly what happened here.
What are your top two or three goals for the year ahead?
We adopted three principles to guide us through the pandemic. First, manage risk and ensure customer success. Second, gain ground by doubling down in the strategic areas of our business. Third, care for our team.
We’re optimistic about the future but clear-eyed about the fact that COVID isn’t conquered. That three-part strategy is fully in effect and it will continue to guide us for the year ahead.