Rosslyn is home to countless influential and interesting businesses. In this series, Business Buzz, we chat with the leaders of these companies in our community. These are the thinkers and doers who make Rosslyn tick! Want us to feature your business? Contact us!
The art of the possible
Lovelytics demystifies complex data to give clients a clear view
Founded at entrepreneur Scott Love's kitchen table, Lovelytics is a business intelligence service firm that works with a variety of clients to organize and visualize their data. About a year after its creation, the growing company became one of the first tenants to move into SPACES, Rosslyn's vibrant and modern coworking space that opened in fall 2017. Since then, Lovelytics has enjoyed steady growth, adding new staff and broadening its reach to touch clients throughout the U.S. The company currently employs 10 full-time staff and intends to double this by early next year. The Rosslyn BID caught up with Founder and CEO Scott Love to find out more about their work.
Rosslynva.org: What prompted you to start your own business?
Scott Love: I always wanted my own business since I was 15. I took an entrepreneurship class in college but I never had a business idea that seemed exactly right. I knew I didn't want to be a one-person business selling products. My last job was in data analytics. It's a fun industry that's very fast-paced. I decided I wanted to branch out and strike out on my own doing this type of work. I really wanted to start a company with a fun culture, great benefits and exciting clients. I didn't want my company to be too hierarchical. At Lovelytics, we focus on efficiency instead of number of hours worked. Being more efficient and having a mutual trust and respect across the company allows people to have flexible work schedules and take more time off when needed while still delivering quality solutions to our clients.
Rosslynva.org: What do you like about your work?
SL: I like that our work saves people time. One of the primary services we offer is helping companies create dashboards so they'll be able to see their key data on one screen in a way that's interactive. Our dashboards are concise, clean and easy to view. Everything is filterable. We simplify and automate information so people can be more efficient, which allows them to focus on other, more enjoyable parts of their job or even go home earlier. We primarily use Tableau for dashboards but also do a lot of mapping work, partnering with the company Mapbox. They do a lot of reporting for their boards and for different grants they’re trying to get. They have all this data and need to organize it. There are a lot of commercial opportunities here in the D.C. area, too.
Click on the image above to engage with a demo of one of Lovelytics' interactive dashboards. This one focuses on crime in Arlington. You can filter the data based on incident type, neighborhood and time. Interactive dashboards like this one are one of Lovelytics' primary products.
Rosslynva.org: Can you tell us a bit about some of your most successful projects?
SL: We've used Mapbox to support police departments. We help them map incidents by exact location, time, day of week, officer, zone, etc. In one jurisdiction, we found that citizens had a religious day of rest and weren't reporting crimes that day, even though they were still happening. We mapped out crime during the religious day of rest for a couple years so we could see where it was taking place. This enabled the police to be proactive in certain areas and make real-world differences.
On the analytics side, we've collaborated with a media company. They wanted to track all artists: what they were spending on the artists versus how much money the artists were making for them. It's very hard to consolidate and track this because the company has several different systems where the data is stored. One is a financial system, another system tracks tour costs, etc. It's very difficult for them to merge all this information together and make reports. We helped organize all this information.
We've also worked with a school district in Virginia to track how they are doing with 10 metrics Virginia schools need to track, such as percentage of dropouts and percentage of graduates who go on to college. We helped them aggregate data from all school districts so they could see what areas they really need to improve.
Rosslynva.org: What value do you bring to your clients?
SL: A lot of people have an idea and then call us and ask what’s possible. We show them the art of the possible by doing requirements gathering and boiling it down. That’s the hardest part. We take the technology out of the conversation and just say, "In an ideal world, not taking the limitations of a certain tool into account, what would you like to have?" Usually there will be five people with five different opinions regarding what they want. We try to find something everyone agrees on. Then, our team develops a creative technical solution to take into account the feedback of our client. We format their data, then clean it, then manipulate it. We develop a wireframe. We go through a lot of iterations.
Rosslynva.org: Do you think being in Rosslyn is good for business?
SL: Definitely. Our connections with the BID, Arlington Economic Development (AED) and out in the community have brought us opportunities. Having an office in Arlington allows us easy access to our clients, including several in D.C. There are so many resources for businesses in Arlington. AED has been a great support, giving me advice and connecting me to the right people. It would have taken me weeks to figure out some of these things on my own. Being in Arlington is great for recruiting, as well, both for people inside and outside of D.C. Some just want to come here. And I can hire anybody in D.C., Maryland or Virginia and most can take public transportation to get here without having to change trains.
Rosslynva.org: What do you like about being at SPACES?
SL: There are so many great companies here. We do a lot of events here since SPACES has a great indoor-outdoor event space. It’s easy to get here. We host an event at SPACES and no one in D.C. or Capitol Hill is complaining about getting here. You get on Metro and just show up. We hosted a Tableau user group here. And the Department of Commerce had a data analytics day. We also have partnered with other companies who work in this building. The company across the hall does real estate and we have brainstormed together about mapping solutions for real estate agents and brokers. There's a recruiting firm here to assist us with our company's growth. There's an immigration lawyer here if we need a visa for someone.
Rosslynva.org: Why do you think your work is important?
SL: We're in a data-driven world, and in so many industries whoever has the best data wins. Look at Amazon and Apple: They have the best data and they’re winning. Look at nonprofits: The ones that can show information in a professional way get more grants than those that can’t. It's the same in real estate. People want data visualization to easily view maps that enable them to see inside each unit. Those who have the best data and can present it in a clear, easy-to-digest format will have an advantage.
More info: Lovelytics
Photo at top: Scott Love (in white shirt) and members of his team at their office at SPACES in Rosslyn.