Rhiza Blog Blog

Rhiza CEO Part of White House Launch of Climate Change Data Clearinghouse

White House           Photo Credit     flickr user HarshLight

White House Photo Credit flickr user HarshLight

Rhiza’s CEO, Josh Knauer, is participating during events today at the White House around the launch of the new climate data clearinghouse climate.data.gov. As part of Knauer’s service on the President’s Council of Science and Technology, Knauer co-authored a report that was presented to John Holdren and President Obama where the concept of a data clearinghouse for climate change data collected from federal, state and local governments, as well as academic research data.

Today’s launch of the new climate data clearinghouse reflects the type of open data sharing initiatives that Knauer has been advocating for many years. A core value of Rhiza is to encourage going beyond just serving our customers to make data actionable, but to also actively share our experiences in creating innovative data sharing tools to help our community, both locally and globally.

Feel free to read some of the articles about this new White House initiative from these media outlets:

Comcast Announces Long Term Subscription to Rhiza for Media

Comcast Spotlight and Rhiza Working to Help Advertisers Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Comcast Spotlight to use Rhiza for Media; Software Combines Multiple Data Sources to Create Customizable, Multi-screen Advertising Recommendations

December 16, 2013 01:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
NEW YORK & PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and Rhiza, a leading provider of media and customer analytics software, today announced an agreement bringing new and beneficial media insights to Comcast Spotlight’s local, regional and national clients.

Comcast Spotlight is now utilizing the Rhiza for Media platform, a web-based research and sales software solution. Rhiza for Media provides customizable reports combining aggregate audience data with generalized media consumption information and market trends to produce detailed, graphics-rich presentations to help advertisers develop more efficient media plans.

“Companies ranging from ‘mom-and-pop’ operations to national brands are increasingly relying on detailed data to make strategic advertising decisions, and we’re helping them do it,” said Matt DeAngelis, Senior Director of Research for Comcast Spotlight. “Rhiza for Media helps us take a wide range of data and present it in an easy-to-understand way, demonstrating the geographic and demographic segmentation capabilities that only local spot cable advertising offers.”

Added Josh Knauer, CEO of Rhiza, “Comcast Spotlight’s clients will benefit from Rhiza for Media’s unique capability to blend information about people, businesses and market conditions from hundreds of sources. It’s not just about more data, but about presenting that data in an easy to understand way that ensures you engage your target audience.”

The Rhiza for Media platform used by Comcast Spotlight combines numerous qualitative and quantitative datasets, which can be customized based on each advertiser’s type of business and further enhanced with user-created datasets. Using that data, Comcast Spotlight is able to show clients how local cable advertising can pinpoint the neighborhoods where their customers (and prospective customers) live, overlaying that with aggregated information about what those audiences are watching. Data can be analyzed and summarized at multiple geographic levels, from a market-wide perspective down to a zone level analysis. (See the above example of a Rhiza for Media map, showing how data is presented.)

About Comcast Spotlight

Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps put the power of cable to use for local, regional and national advertisers. It is focused on providing multi-platform marketing solutions to reach audiences most effectively and efficiently. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Comcast Spotlight has a presence in nearly 80 markets with approximately 35 million owned and represented subscribers. Comcast Spotlight is a trademark of Comcast. For more information, visit www.comcastspotlight.com.

About Rhiza

Rhiza provides powerful yet easy-to-use analytics research tools that seamlessly mix enterprise data with public and syndicated data to give decision-makers a 360 view of a situation. Whether it’s making sense of complex customer purchasing patterns across distinct geographies or delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time, Rhiza’s analytics tools produce deep insights about customers, media consumption and the competitive landscape, all in a web interface accessible to everyone in the enterprise. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a West Coast office in Seattle, Rhiza employs a world class team of data scientists, engineers and data visualization experts to put the power of big data insights into the hands of salespeople, researchers and managers.

Comcast Spotlight
Chris Ellis, 215-286-7771
Josh Knauer, 412-488-0600

Click here for the full, original press release on PR Newswire and on the Comcast blog.

Rhiza CEO Tapped for Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect’s Transition Team

Josh Knauer, Rhiza’s CEO, was recently asked to join Pittsburgh Mayor-Elect Peduto’s transition team. Josh is serving on the Sustainability and Entrepreneurship Subcommittee and plans on advising the Mayor-Elect on ways in which Pittsburgh can become even more of a magnet for emerging technology entrepreneurs, among other topics.

Josh has also served on a working group of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as well as many non-profit and for-profit boards of directors, both locally and nationally.

     by The Rhiza Team   Blog   1 Comment

5 More Reasons Why It’s Better Working for Smaller Companies

The first week of October is Rhiza’s Recruitment Week. As you may have read, Rhiza is a fast-growing software company and we’re looking to continue that growth by hiring some great new people to our team. Rather than releasing balloons and a box of doves, we are going to be releasing valuable information.

Today is the last day of our Recruitment Week. In the spirit of my post 18 months ago, here are another 5 reasons why working for a small company like Rhiza is better.

1. You can shape your job

The thing I love most about working for a small company is that there is so much to do that I get a lot of leeway to shape what gets done according to my proficiencies and interests. I love working with our geographic datasets and building the cleanest

2. You will be challenged in the best ways

Making new things that no one has ever made before is hard. It will melt your brain at times. But it’s a lot more satisfying than a job that rarely changes.

3. You will not be allowed to stop learning

And speaking of barely changing, at least 50% of the people I interview currently have jobs, but are looking to leave because they work at a place that got comfortable years ago with certain technologies and are ossifying in place. All of the programmers who work in places like that have skills that are stagnating. Those who are not comfortable with that are desperate to get out. It costs programmers real money when they find themselves back on the job market with skills that are 10 years out of date.

I’ve been at Rhiza for almost four years now and I’ve acquired more new knowledge and skills than I could have imagined when I started. I will continue learning for my entire Rhiza career. It’s even written down on paper in my quarterly job goals. But it’s something we all have to do to continue building and adapting tools that handle data in new and better ways than ever before.

4. We punch above our weight class

We are a small team that makes big things. To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki, we “eat like a bird and poop like an elephant”. It is very satisfying to take the skills of just a few people and weave them together to make gold.

5. You will get to see the frontier of big data technology

Everyone today is talking about BIG DATA. Everyone wants BIG DATA. It turns out that big data is easy to collect, but very difficult to use, and it’s almost impossible for a non-expert to use. We build things to solve this problem, a problem which is going to be a problem that will exist for years to come. This means that we will exist for years to come.

Insider Tips to Help You Succeed During a Phone Screen at Rhiza

The first week of October is Rhiza’s Recruitment Week. As you may have read, Rhiza is a fast-growing software company and we’re looking to continue that growth by hiring some great new people to our team. Rather than releasing balloons and a box of doves, we are going to be releasing valuable information.

Chances are, if you are selected for a phone interview for one of our open positions the person you will be talking to is me. I’ve interviewed many, many people since I took over this task from our CTO, Mike. I’m going to lay out a few of the things that make me more likely to move an applicant to the next phase of interviewing. I hope much of this can be generalized to other companies and is useful to most job hopefuls reading this.

First, the fundamental purpose of a phone screen is for me to gauge a baseline of technical expertise you have and evaluate whether you would be a good fit for the company. “Good fit” is kind of a vague term, but usually what I’m looking for is someone who listens, is good at explaining things, and asks good questions. All of the technical knowledge in the world is useless to us unless the person possessing that knowledge can communicate well.

Here are things that are in the gold star column for applicants:

• I love it when people do their research and have at least a vague idea of what Rhiza does. I will always take the time to talk about what exactly we do, but it goes best when people have some understanding and a basis from which to ask questions.
• The ability to explain something complicated in less than three minutes.
• The applicant is talking to me on a clear phone connection and in a quiet space where I can hear them clearly. I have a hard time following people if I can’t hear them well. Hint: I have never had a good interview with someone who talked to me while they were driving.
• Have proof that you know what you’re doing. I love being able to play with demos and look at portfolios and they give me a much more complete view of an applicant. If you’re a new graduate and don’t have much experience a few good demos will get you very far.

Here are some more general tips:

• If it’s on your resume I will assume that you will be able to answer questions about it. I’ll ask you to describe how you executed projects and you should be able to tell me what you did and how you did it. If you list a piece of software or a computer language you should know more than a little about it. Also, if you list a language I will ask you about that, possibly in that language. If you can’t answer basic questions in Spanish do not put it on your resume.
• I’m a software professional just like you, so don’t get bogged down in the details such as what an integer is vs. a floating point type. I’d rather hear about how you used them to build something.

I hope this will help you in your quest to join the Rhiza team. Here’s a listing of our open positions and where you can apply online: http://www.rhiza.com/careers If you apply and make the cut, then I’ll be talking to you soon on the phone!

5 Tips for Resumes at Rhiza (and Elsewhere, too!)

The first week of October is Rhiza’s Recruitment Week. As you may have read, Rhiza is a fast-growing software company and we’re looking to continue that growth by hiring some great new people to our team. Rather than releasing balloons and a box of doves, we are going to be releasing valuable information.

I read almost every resume submitted by someone who wants a job at Rhiza. We tend to get them in a steady trickle from recruiters, networking and friends, or get them in floods of hundreds from career fairs. I’ve seen lots of great resumes, laughably terrible resumes and everything in between. I’ve learned a few things that would make life so much easier for the person reading the resume as well as make it more likely to score an interview. It’s mostly practical, easy, simple stuff that might not be obvious because writing a resume is not the same as sorting through stacks of them, but could mean the difference between getting hired and getting tossed in the trash. I mostly have experience with reading and evaluating resumes for technical positions, but I think most of what I have to say will apply to all kinds of job seekers.

1. Don’t email me your resume.

Chances are that I will forget about it before I have a chance to add it to our applicant website. The best way to get into the Rhiza job pipeline is to apply directly through the Rhiza Careers website. I guarantee that every resume submitted through that process will be read by at least one human.

2. Make your resume as easy for the reader to scan as possible.

Keep in mind that almost everyone who will read your resume does not read resumes all day for a living. This time is coming out of the limited amount of time devoted to job duties. The best resumes are the ones that can be read in under a minute. If I have to struggle to read your resume I’m going to doubt your communication skills and am more likely to put you in the REJECT pile.

Imagine the person who is reading your resume. They might be stealing a few seconds from their busy day to look it over, or they might be taking one off of a stack of hundreds from a job fair. They might be tired or bored with reading the same thing. How do you make sure that your resume does not get passed over? You do it by communicating that you are a skilled, smart individual in the clearest, most organized way possible.

So, how do you make sure that happens? Here are some tips:

– Limit yourself to three easy to read fonts. Use nothing that dots i’s with stars.

– Do not use fonts smaller than 10 points. 12 points is better.

– Separate information by type. Make it clear at a glance what your name is, your contact information (ideally at the top of the page), your education, your prior experience, and your skills

– Use bolding and whitespace to make the individual sections clear

– Keep sentences short

– Limit yourself to two pages, ideally front and back of one sheet of paper.

– For goodness sake, if you have more than two pages and you submitted a paper copy please never, never use a paperclip. It’s so easy for the pages to get separated so that we’re only looking at half of a resume.

3. Proofread, proofread, proofread, or get someone to do that for you.

A resume not only communicates what you can do, but also how organized and conscientious you are. Spell things correctly, use good grammar, and use correct punctuation. Many of our staff members are cranky about spaces before commas and missing periods. Simple mistakes can start you at a deficit. You would have to have stellar qualifications to overcome misspelling “Pittsburgh”.

Also, use consistent formatting. Are all of your headings bolded? Does your bulleting system match across your document? Are all of your dates in the same format?

Keep in mind that a resume is not an exam; it is not cheating to ask for help. In fact, if you are a university student there is probably a writing center on campus filled with people who will get paid to help you. Make an appointment and go there even if you think you are perfect at writing. A second, fresh pair of eyes will see things that you can’t.

4. If you submit a paper resume always follow up by applying on our website.

If we met you in person and you gave us a paper copy of your resume chances are that we met at a job fair and had a brief conversation. Usually when a job fair is over I will take all of the paper resumes I received and sort them into piles according to job title and then order them with the best matches on top and then down through the “maybes” and then the “not a good fits”. I’ll take the best matches and then email the applicant saying that we’re interested in interviewing them and then ask them to apply through our careers website. It’s a good way to weed out people who are not really interested in our company enough to bother uploading a digital copy of their resume.

However, if you are in the “maybe” pile, the best way to move to the next level is to preemptively put yourself into our job pipeline. You’re saving me a few minutes of hassle and I love people who do that. Even if I walked away with a thousand resumes that day I will at least give yours a second, careful look.

5. Include an objective statement for job fair resumes.

An objective statement is something like “Objective: to obtain career experience from an internship in software engineering”, or “Objective: to gain an every-level position in technical writing.” For me, the whole point is to be able to sort you into the right bucket. There are going to be very different criteria for evaluating an intern vs. an entry-level worker vs. an experienced worker, and it’s not always obvious by looking at work experience. Don’t make me guess! Treat your resume as a thing entirely self-contained for the reader, and that includes providing clues as to what kind of position you want.

Rhiza Recruitment Week Kickoff

Today kicks off Rhiza’s Recruitment Week. As you may have read, Rhiza is in fact a fast-growing software company and we’re looking to continue that growth by hiring some great new people to our team. Rather than releasing balloons and a box of doves, we are going to be releasing valuable information. We don’t want to hire people who just happen to guess what we’re looking for, so we’re putting out a few hints about the kinds of things we’re looking for out in the open for tuned-in applicants to find. If you are interested in working for Rhiza we are going to be publishing right on this blog valuable tips on how to get your resume noticed and how to ace that initial phone screen.

So, to get things started, here is the most important thing you can do to get our attention: apply directly through our career site. Every application and resume submitted through our website are read by at least one human at Rhiza, almost always a member of our development team.

Emailed resumes fall through the cracks and can get sent to the wrong person. Paper resumes only get callbacks for the very top 1%, but the applications that go through our website are closer to 10% for callbacks.

Bonus tip: We’ll ask you to submit a short statement about what makes you unique along with your resume. This is one of my favorite parts of our application and I tend to read these statements very carefully. I love hearing about all of the unique abilities and interests our applicants have.

How can you help? Take a look at the jobs we’re hiring for now on our career site and please feel free to share them with your friends, family and co-workers!

Pittsburgh Business Times Names Rhiza Fifth Fastest Growing Tech Company

pgh100-logo-smallAt an award ceremony tonight at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Club, Rhiza was named by the Pittsburgh Business Times the fifth fastest growing technology company in western Pennsylvania. The award, accepted by Rhiza’s CEO, Josh Knauer, was given by the Pittsburgh Business Times during their Pittsburgh 100 Awards, an annual ranking that recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in western Pennsylvania. It’s interesting to note that Rhiza was the only technology company in the list that has achieved its growth numbers without any outside investment.

Rhiza named Tech 50 and Pittsburgh 100 finalist for second year in a row


Rhiza is proud to announce that we are a finalist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Tech 50 award. The award honors southwestern Pennsylvania’s most successful and innovative technology companies. Winners will be announced on October 10 at the Tech 50 event. For more information on the event, visit the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

pgh100-logo-smallAnd, since we’re already in bragging mode, we might as well mention we also made the Pittsburgh 100 list this year too. The Pittsburgh 100 list is published every year by the Pittsburgh Business Times, ranking the region’s fastest growing companies. The final rankings will be announced at an award ceremony on August 22, 2013 and released by the paper the following day.

Wish us luck. We love winning awards!


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