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Data Science in Houston



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Senior Data Scientist, Roy Keyes, shares his experiences on working in different cities and watching the data science scene grow in Houston, TX.

HOUSTON, USA – After more than a decade’s absence, I came back to Houston. In the intervening years, I lived in multiple states, did a PhD in physics, and switched careers to data science. Most recently I was working as a data scientist at tech startups in the San Francisco Bay area, in the proverbial gullet of the tech world. But now, I’m back.

Why Houston?

Because Houston is awesome.

In the past 20 years, Houston has grown explosively and is poised to be the third most populous city in the US. Anyone who has slowly cruised our freeways with thousands of their closest friends probably holds this suspicion. That growth has coincided with a diversification of the economy, culture, and mindset in Houston, which is very evident to long-time residents and newcomers alike. And really, it’s hard to beat the food in Houston.

Data science is the Houston of the tech world

At the same time that Houston has been ballooning in population and urban energy, data science has been exploding in popularity and making its way into every industry. Naturally, industries like oil and gas and healthcare are excited to embrace data science, making Houston a nexus of activity related to applied data science in those fields.

Outside of Arundo, I am a co-organizer of the Houston Data Science meetup group. Part of our meetup’s goal is to foster and build a strong data science community in Houston. It’s clear to us that the data science community is growing at a rapid pace. We’ve seen the growth of membership in our meetup and others on data science related topics grow very quickly in the past year. Interest from aspiring and experienced data scientists has helped to propel this growing community, along with demand from local industries for more talent.

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Data science + Houston = Arundo

At Arundo, our goal is to help companies get incredible value out of the industrial internet of things (IIoT). To do this, we are building the best data science tools possible. Part of our strategy for achieving this is to “bring Silicon Valley to heavy industry”. This includes finding the best tech talent and domain experts, as well as embracing the best of startup culture: flexibility, tenacity, and creativity.

In Houston, we strive to be at the center of the data science community and the tech community. Physically, we are indeed at the center of the startup community in Houston as a member of Station Houston, located in a downtown office with a panoramic view of the city from the top floor of 1301 Fannin.

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The view from Station Houston.

As a data scientist at Arundo I play two roles: working directly with clients to solve their business problems using Arundo’s platform and working with the development team helping them to develop the best data science tools possible. Arundo’s clients come from a number of industries, such as energy (both oil and gas, as well as renewables), maritime, utilities, and transportation. The focus of our technology is helping customers who have sensor-laden, heavy equipment and working with the high volume streaming data they produce.

A common use case is predictive maintenance. For the data scientist that means working on a number of interesting problems, including multi-sensor anomaly detection (time series modeling), event label mining (NLP on maintenance logs to enable semi-supervised learning), and model performance monitoring and adaptive retraining. As a data scientist at Arundo, you are in the unique position of working with customers that bring us very interesting and technically challenging use cases, teaming up with Arundo’s in-house domain experts, and being supported by an engineering team that is building tools to make this all as robust and easy as possible. This approach has allowed us to build a product incredibly well suited to deliver solutions to the customers in our markets.

If you are interested working in data science in Houston, I hope you will come talk to us. We believe Arundo is the premier data science company in Houston (not to mention Oslo and Palo Alto!) and it is only getting better.