News Article

Beavercreek company fueled by ‘big ugly data'
Date: Aug 28, 2016
Author: Thomas Gnau
Source: Dayton Daily News ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: The Perduco Group Inc of Beavercreek, OH

Defense, health care and fantasy football — they all intersect in the Perduco Group's newly expanded office off Pentagon Boulevard in Beavercreek.

Perduco Group helps clients make sense of "big ugly data" — a phrase coined by Stephen Chambal, the firm's vice president. They find the meaningful patterns within reams of complicated data to help clients make smart decisions.

"For us, all data, regardless of what condition it's in or how much there is, we get pretty excited about it," Chambal said.

The company started in Toyzanne and Chris Mason's home in early 2011 before sharing offices with a partner on Springfield Street at the Wright Office Park. Perduco grew from two to 20 employees in the fall of 2013, when it moved to 3610 Pentagon — where it still is. Perduco recently more than doubled its office space in the same building and has 44 employees.

By far, defense remains the company's biggest field. But the firm is making disciplined forays into health care — and other areas.

Recently, Ricky Peters, former executive director of the Air Force Research Laboratory and current executive director of the Perduco Group, joined the Ascend Innovations team as chief executive.

Fueled by a more than $6.5 million investment from three Dayton hospital systems, Ascend is the for-profit enterprise born out the work of Kaleidoscope, a Cincinnati product design firm and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

"That's definitely a blossoming area," Chambal said of health care. "In 2016, I think we'll gain some new recognizable traction in that space."

But it's the company's work in sports and fantasy football that turns heads these days. That led to the 2014 spinoff of Perduco Sports and a partnership today with, its strategic partner in the fantasy field. PredictionMachine describes itself as a source of information for "predicting sports outcomes straight-up and against-the-spread."

The potential uses of data analytics in sports is a growing field. It isn't lost on Perduco principals that the Cleveland Browns recently hired as "chief strategy officer" Paul DePodesta, former vice president of player development and scouting for the New York Mets from 2010 to 15 — and a recognized "moneyball" expert.

Increasingly, sports teams are approaching winning as a science that goes beyond drafting, recruiting and brawn. They want data, and they want to harness that data.

The Perduco executives declined to say whether a trip to Cleveland is in their near future. But they acknowledge that they have met with representatives of two other Cleveland teams, the Cavaliers and the Indians, although they have no formal partnerships to announce yet.

But they are paying attention, as are others.

"All those guys know each other," said Chris Mason, Perduco vice president. "They intermingle and they travel from team to team. Especially the analytics guys; it's kind of a small community."

"Sports is a different domain," Chambal said. "And it's a challenging space. We'll continue to plug away at that."

So what's the potential for a small company steeped in the demands of rigorous data? Chambal talks of 400 to 500 employees over the long term, especially with health care as a second business pillar. That could quickly catch up to defense, in his view.

"I'm the optimist," Chambal said with a smile.

That's one of the reasons Perduco grew from an office with 2,800 square feet to one with 6,700 square feet.

Perduco principals declined to say anything precise about annual revenue, but it is growing.

"It's been a steady climb," said Toyzanne Mason, Perduco president.

"You can feel a little bit of that turning-the-corner kind of thing," Chambal added. "It's working. We're getting a lot more phone calls."

There have been no distinct acquisition overtures, but they are hearing more offers of partnerships — and that might be the "first sign that you're doing something right, I think," Chambal.

Otherwise, he guesses the Perduco could be "years" away from an acquisition. So for now, the focus is defense, health care, sports — and growing in Dayton.