Welcome to our Meet the 50 Team feature. This is where we get the lowdown on how the people at 50onRed get stuff done. This time we’re sitting down with both members of our analytics team, Kyle Heckman and Delen Heisman!
What exactly do you guys do?
Delen: I’m 50onRed’s Business Analyst. Basically, I’m here to provide analysis to both the sales and executive teams to help figure out what’s going on with the business to ensure we make the best decisions possible. I know that’s a broad answer, but my role is pretty broad! I figure out what’s working and what’s not in terms of how we make money by digging through our copious amounts of data. It’s a lot of Excel, math, and stats.
So, say I’m working with the engineering team and they say, “We’re seeing this issue.” I’ll grab the data or the engineering team will provide me with a data dump, and I’ll check it out.
Heckman: Well, I’m 50onRed’s Network Analyst. I do a lot with the Accounting Team, recording revenues and spends and ensuring that our invoices match up. I make sure that we’re able to collect revenues because we have a ton of sources.
I work with our developers to create reports in our dashboard for things that come up. These past few months, I’ve been working with Brian, one of our devs, and our executive team researching potential business intelligence tools. I’ll go through with Brian, assessing whether these tools fit our needs.
I’m also working on a new publisher dashboard with the Operations team. What else do I do, Delen?
Delen: Alerting stuff!
Heckman: Oh right, I come up with useful metrics and alerts. This way, we can keep an eye on how business is doing day-to-day, make sure we have traffic sources, and ensure everything’s working properly, quantitatively. And, you know, whatever else comes up in between.
How did you both find your way to 50onRed?
Delen: I’ve been here for about two years now. I happened to know someone who knew Steve, 50onRed’s founder, and they recommended I look into the firm. I flew in to interview, met a few people, and learned more about the company. After talking with the team, I got a better sense of what was going on and the problems they were trying to solve.
Heckman: We also happened to have a quarterly outing at Morgan’s Pier the day Delen came in to interview. He tagged along.
Delen: That helped, too. I also wanted to move back to Philly, so I accepted the offer!
Heckman: I’ve been here for about five and a half years. I started as an intern six months after the company was originally founded. At the time, our headquarters was around the corner from Rowan, where I went to school. After my internship, I was compelled to stay because of the start-up environment. I also really got to shape my own role, which was cool.
The company is completely different now from those first years. I’ve definitely evolved with the company, and my role has evolved with every pivot. The scope of my role hasn’t really changed, but the way I go about my work has definitely evolved. As the company has grown, it’s gotten more complicated, and even more interesting. My career has really grown with 50onRed.
What tools do you rely on every day? What makes them so great?
Delen: Our dashboard was still evolving when I got here, and there were no built-in tools for us. Now, all of our data comes from either our platform or dashboard. We’ve customized it to exactly what we need, working with the developers. Since the pub and dash are customized to the things we’re doing, these built-in tools are easy to use and work really well for us. We can get the exact data we need quite quickly. Definitely makes for much less frustration!
Do you use external tools or is everything built custom in-house?
Heckman: We’re in the process of testing out BI tools, as I mentioned earlier, but right now we’re mainly dependent on internal tools.
Delen: And Excel, always Excel.
Delen, you’re one of our resident karma kings. Any favorite memes? Have you ever made it to the front page?
Delen: Hmmm… favorite meme is probably the Jackie Chan face. But doge is also pretty awesome. I’ve never made it to the front page, but our Community Manager, Ashley, has. She had a post of herself holding a fox at a bar which was pretty popular. I’m jealous.
And Kyle, you’re the founder of Meat Wednesdays. Can you give us the inside scoop?
Heckman: First rule of Meat Wednesday is: You do not talk about Meat Wednesday.
Sorry for speaking out of turn Mr. Durden. Changing gears then, What’s the best part about working at a tech start-up?
Delen: Working for a big company is more rigid and bureaucratic, as opposed to here, where our developers just get stuff done and everything is very smooth. Nothing and no one really falls through the cracks here, which may happen at a larger company. You can impact change much easier and faster here. The project cycle is much shorter and the turn around is much quicker.
Heckman: It’s just a more comfortable atmosphere. Here, I don’t really have co-workers, I have friends.
Any advice for people seeking similar roles in the industry?
Delen: Sure! For anyone looking to get into analytics, I would suggest any type of problem-solving major in college. Usually engineering/math/finance, something along those lines. Also, try to learn things like Excel, R, SAS, and SQL. Then, I would work for a big company for 2 years or so to develop some skills. Working at a large company certainly helped me, it was kind of like free training. You get some good stuff to put on your resume. At that point you should be ready for action!
Heckman: Don’t be afraid to have ideas and get shot down. If you can find an opportunity to grow with a company, take it! Learn to communicate clearly and efficiently. Startups move fast and can pivot at any time. Don’t be afraid to stand out and present your ideas, even if you’re turned down more than agreed with. You have to make yourself important. Know going in that you’re going to be challenged, working long hours, and possibly even proving you deserve to be on the payroll. If you want an easy 9-5 job doing the same tasks every day and no one bothering you, then go work for a corporation. Working in a start-up is the most fun, most educating, and most personally defining/rewarding thing you can do.
Want to learn more about 50onRed and see what opportunities we currently have available? Head on over to our careers page to find out!