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Innovation & Startups

Civic Science takes the art of polling to the Internet, hiring

John Dick believes it’s time for polling to step into the future.

A serial entrepreneur, Dick has always been fascinated by the potential of web-based consumer marketing research and data capture.

After his successful exit last year from GSP Consulting, a Pittsburgh-based tech firm that he founded, Dick moved to his next project: Civic Science, an online marketing research firm with a twist.

Civic Science has created web-based applications and widgets that collect real-time data to provide an accurate view of political and consumer behavior. Visitors to the Pittsburgh Today website may have used the Civic Science polling widget.

“There are a lot of companies out there trying to do this but we don’t believe they are doing it right,” Dick says. “The phone-based model is no longer working, but you can’t just flip the switch and say the Internet holds the solution. The right answer is a combination of the two.”

With a staff of seven full-timers and 1 part-timer, all Carnegie Mellon University software engineering and programming architects, the company is tapping into a  $20 billion industry, working with retail companies, financial services, sports team, anyone who wants to be a smarter marketer.

The company recently relocated its offices in the Strip, hired two people and plans to hire two more by the end of the year, bringing the staff to nine.

“The real secret sauce is the algorithms we use to analyze data and unrelated factors about the decision-making process,” Dick adds. “Marketing research as an industry is going through a very profound period of change. It keeps me up at night knowing that if we don’t capture this opportunity, somebody else is going to.”

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: John Dick, Civic Science

Photograph copyright Brian Cohen

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