ITA Spotlight: DRIVIN
Monday, October 21, 2019
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Joe Oliveri, Vice President of Data as a Service, DRIVIN
At DRIVIN, the data engine behind KAR Global, we’re in the driver’s seat — driving transformation in the auto remarketing industry and fueling intelligence that helps power the sale of more than 3 million used vehicles valued at more than $40 billion each year. We’re the tech junkies and data crunchers that thrive on our start up mindset inside our global business with more than 15,000 employees and 76 countries in our customer base. Read more and see why we’re the best kept tech secret in Chicago.
1. In 25 words or less, what is DRIVIN all about?
DRIVIN is the data science engine of KAR Global — helping automotive manufacturers, financial institutions, insurance companies and dealer groups solve real business problems through data science.
2. What are the growth and scaling opportunities within DRIVIN’s industry?
The DRIVIN team is making a material difference in how KAR Global and the automotive industry navigate through a major digital transformation. Two of our strategic priorities are directly related to maximizing value through data science and growing our digital channels. As such, each and every team member has been given a large responsibility to lead the change — helping transform the way that dealers and commercial consignors buy, sell, and trade used vehicles. By tapping into new and emerging technologies like data science and machine learning, we’re revolutionizing how this industry operates from the inside out. There’s only growth from here.
3. How has your company culture evolved as DRIVIN has grown?
While we are part of a global, publicly-traded company with more than 15,000 employees across the world, DRIVIN operates very entrepreneurially as the KAR Global data science hub in Chicago. In the midst of our tremendous growth, more than doubling in size since being acquired in 2017, we’ve made it a priority to maintain a strong startup culture in everything that we do — being intentional about our office design, product ideation and collaboration. That said, being a part of KAR Global allows us to leverage its industry-leading digital resources and massive amount of data points to deliver the richest analytical solutions and market intelligence. This gives us the unique resources we need to really help dealers optimize in a way that others in the industry can’t. So, while we’ve grown in size, what’s kept us innovative is the legacy of our entrepreneurial mindset and culture — which really motivates our team to keep innovating.
4. What risks or issues do you foresee in your industry’s near future?
Like every other industry, KAR Global is knee-deep in a digital transformation. But the auto remarketing industry has deep roots — traditionally anchored in physical vehicle auctions where drivers run vehicles through the lanes while auctioneers conduct energetic dealer bidding live in action. Building online and digital technology that seeks to change this behavior of seeing, touching and inspecting each vehicle before deciding if it’s right for their lot, is a big undertaking. But with data science, we have the opportunity to use the latest technologies combined with years of industry data to help dealers make smarter, faster decisions. It’s a challenge to push the boundaries on this massive industry — but that’s what makes it exciting, too. If the wholesale automotive marketplace doesn’t go digital and use data, it will be left behind.
5. What motivates your employees to come to work every day?
DRIVIN employees build products that touch so many parts of the business at KAR Global — from vehicle recommendation algorithms for our digital platforms to data-driven sales enablement tools for our buyer solutions team, so it’s hard not to get excited about the work we are doing. Everyone plays an important role in helping us achieve our goals — and our talented team is simply addicted to the thrill of creating the next big product or feature.
6. What do you do to encourage constant growth and change for your employees?
We understand that attracting and retaining great talent means more than just a competitive paycheck and attractive benefits. Our employees are curious and eager learners, so we’ve made it a priority to provide resources for both formal and informal training and development, including tuition reimbursement, lunch and learns, leadership coaching and platform and development certifications.
7. What are the top reasons employees would say they love working for DRIVIN?
Our employees love that we feel like startup when it comes to ideation and hands-on innovation, but still get to benefit from the big-company perks. As the data science arm for KAR Global, we are uniquely positioned to work with many of the teams and products across the company, as well as some big-name partners and customers that benefit from our data science and proprietary algorithms. And the work speaks for itself; we are making a marked impact on the over-arching digital transformation at KAR Global — transforming how our company and 15+ brands do business and driving new solutions for our customers. Our newly redesigned office is also a hit with think tank rooms, open-concept conference centers, as well as outside areas like our rooftop patio with stunning city views, Chicago Riverwalk access and outside seating.
8. What makes DRIVIN stand out?
There’s nothing out there like us. The intersection of cars, data and technology is fascinating, fast-paced and fun. We’re in the driver’s seat in transforming the vehicle remarketing industry by using of data and technology to deliver clear, actionable insights to customers on pricing, matching supply and demand, and inventory management.
9. What is the one thing DRIVIN cannot live without?
That’s simple — data. While we already have great access to billions of industry data points from all across the KAR Global enterprise, in our eyes, there’s never enough. Data is the lifeblood of what we do, and so the more data, the better. But without the incredible people on our team that bring the data to life for actionable intelligence, the data is worthless. We couldn’t survive without our people that make it all come together.
10. This one is all you… anything else you want to tell us?
We’re growing, and need more go-getters that are obsessed with creating new products and features and diving deep into rich data. With open positions in data engineering, product management and technology, we’re looking for those that want to roll up their sleeves and help transform one of the largest, most dynamic industries in the world. Learn more at KARglobal.com/careers.