TransUnion was doing Big Data before it was cool, and before it even had a name. Now it's building on its head start. The 50-year-old company, long synonymous with credit reports, has been on a tech-acquisition spree, buying companies and hiring workers at a breakneck pace, even by tech standards. Last year, TransUnion hired 350 tech-related workers, 233 of them in Chicago, where almost half of its 1,500-person headquarters staff is focused on technology or analytics.
It's hard to name a company in Chicago that's been hiring at such an aggressive clip in tech, except maybe legal-software maker Relativity, which added 225 tech jobs in the city last year, or Uptake, which went from zero to more than 800 employees in less than four years. Even so, TransUnion sneaked up on tech recruiters and others who fancy themselves in the know and who keep a close eye on which companies are on the rise.