“Data Dog”: Growing Competition Is Not a Threat, It Is a Stimulus to Become Better
Photo: “Data Dog” archive
Established in 2012, “Data Dog” started as a team of three good friends developing e-commerce solutions – from e-shops to websites. According to the CEO of “Data Dog” Domas Janickas, the company’s work was changing together with growing customer needs and improving software developers’ skills. Today, the head of the company, which has over a hundred professional teams across Europe together with their partners “Satalia”, states that Kaunas remains an attractive place for the company with a technological profile and he also says that the growing competition is not a threat.
“Today, we have taken a huge step from what we were doing in 2012: we’re developing specific, often artificial intelligence (AI) technology-based software for resource planning, supply chain management, sales and customer service operations in the companies.”
“Data Dog” is located in Kaunas Old Town and has a multifunctional team of programmers, data analysts, mathematicians, product managers. It has employees not only in Lithuania but also abroad: “Today, we work together with foreign partners. Although in Kaunas we have 44 employees, we are in fact a team of 100 people, spread throughout Europe – in Lithuania, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Greece”.
According to D. Janickas, from the very beginning, the founders of “Data Dog” were interested in both technology as an area and business solutions. Therefore, the initiated activity allowed to work with technology and its application without drifting very far away from another attractive field – understanding business problems, analyzing them, finding solutions and, if possible, automating them.
Important mission – partnership with a university
Both Domas and other company founders are from Kaunas, therefore, the establishment of a company in this city was a natural and self-evident choice. Moreover, the city has been able to offer excellent technology-oriented talents and the possibility to collaborate with the academic community from the very start of the company’s work.
“Of course, Kaunas also has other advantages, for example, compactness: I can travel from the office in the Old Town to the airport in several minutes and take a flight to meet clients, it’s one of those subtle but attractive pluses,” says the head of “Data Dog”.
It is important not only to take, but also to give: therefore, “Data Dog” collaborates with Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), which prepares several hundred technology specialists annually.
“We are contributing to education, realizing that only by sharing hands-on knowledge and everyday work situations, we will help a graduate to know what he/she has to do not only theoretically, but also in real daily work. Our employees visit university, deliver lectures, organize practical assignments and help the groups, assigned to them, to carry out semester projects and become better specialists. The main goal is to introduce and show technologies which companies work with: the technologies are improving so fast that training programs do not manage to go hand in hand with the trends. One of our expectations is that by investing our time and sharing knowledge with students, we will have the opportunity to work with them in the future.”
Proud not only of their products, but also of the culture of their organization
When asked to name the biggest achievements of “Data Dog”, D. Janickas distinguishes two areas: one is technology and the other is the organization itself.
“From the organizational side, our most important achievement is, of course, the creation of excellent work experience for employees. We are proud to be extremely open by sharing information, including financial matters, and having a clear improvement scheme, open wages, when everyone knows how much others earn, and colleagues who are engaged in the process which allows us to make a lot of decisions together.
From the technological side, our main activity at the moment is to develop our own product with partners from the United Kingdom. We are expanding the route planning and optimization solution we’ve implemented for several major UK companies. This product receives full attention not only from developers but also from the technological community: several awards have already been received this year – for the best artificial intelligence product in the field of transport and logistics.”
Looking forward, the CEO of the company hopes to develop the most promising products and to offer more and more optimization solutions to both the European and local markets: “For example, we are looking forward to a very interesting project – to develop software solutions for optimizing the activities of a children’s hospital in the United Kingdom. Our task will be to create a product that will optimize hospital staff schedules and the use of infrastructure, from wards to operating-rooms. This will be one of the most exciting and best things to which we have contributed so far. I wonder where it will take us.”
Growing competition is not a threat
D. Janickas welcomes the fact that Kaunas is seen as the city with an enormous potential for a technological profile companies by a growing number of foreign investors and he is not afraid of the competition.
“We have been living a bit easier and calmer than our colleagues/competitors in Vilnius for a long time. In recent years, more and more technology companies are discovering Kaunas and choosing to work here. What does this mean for us? It’s just a stimulus to become better. We realize that this is as it should be, and it will only be in our best interest. I believe that everyone who comes to work in Kaunas will cooperate with higher education institutions which will then be able to develop new talents even more efficiently by using that support. At the same time, I think it will popularize the choice of the field: the more opportunities young people will see, the more of them will choose the technology field and want to improve, and in that way, we will also have the opportunity to grow,” – said “Data Dog” CEO Domas Janickas.