Meet Senior Director of Business Intelligence Bob Newstadt
Written by HopSkipDrive
Six years ago, Bob Newstadt was drawn to HopSkipDrive because of the challenge that is inherent in building something new. He also had an immediate appreciation for the company’s values and mission.
Today, as the Director of the Business Intelligence team at HopSkipDrive, he impacts all aspects of the company by overseeing the critical functions of gathering and analyzing data and delivering actionable insights that help guide informed business decisions.
How long have you worked for HopSkipDrive?
I’ve worked for HopSkipDrive for six years.
What do you do for the company in your role?
I manage the business intelligence team, which supplies data, tools and insights to all departments of the company. There are four talented data analysts on the team. Data is used to track financial performance, grow sales, monitor safety metrics, balance supply and demand in the marketplace, and much more.
What made you want to work here?
I was attracted by the opportunity to help build a service that had not existed before. The mission to help busy parents, like myself, get kids to school was something I felt I could get behind.
Tell us about your professional and educational background.
I have computer science degrees from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and from UCLA, where I studied AI and databases. My professional work experience has been all over the Los Angeles area, at small startups and some well-known companies. I started my career as a video game programmer at Mattel. It got my picture in Wikipedia. After a book about the early video game industry comes out in 2024, my code will be archived in a museum!
Subsequently, I’ve worked in a variety of fields such as speech recognition, PC software, legal publishing, finance, ecommerce and communications. At HopSkipDrive, I apply my skills and experience from other industries to solve transportation problems.
What is your favorite thing about working at HopSkipDrive?
I get to work on a variety of projects, and with almost everyone across the company. Also, the company talks about putting safety first — and actually does.
Can you talk a bit about the importance of data and the ways we use it to support our business?
Data includes rides built, telematics on rides being driven, and user information for organizers, riders and CareDrivers. This data is one way to listen to the communities we serve beyond customer support calls, surveys, Facebook posts, focus groups and app store reviews. We use data to create feedback loops to improve our service.
Since the company is distributed across 20+ markets, there is no other way to get a comprehensive, always-on view of what is happening. Every team at HopSkipDrive uses data to do their jobs better.
Have you learned anything surprising from working here?
Everything can be improved with data. We continue to make progress by finding a reasonable balance of projects that we believe will deliver the greatest positive impact for our communities. We also use the company values to guide our decisions.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to cook, and I enjoy gardening and traveling. Last new recipe I tried: a German chocolate cake. Last harvest: plums, strawberries and tomatoes. I’m currently planning a trip to visit a cousin in Spain.
Have you or do you now do any kind of volunteer work?
I volunteer to help run an annual data conference, DataConLA. Last year, the volunteer leaders, including myself, received certificates of recognition from the City of LA.
What advice would you give to someone who may be interested in joining the HopSkipDrive team?
It’s great for people who value what the company values.
What are your thoughts about the future of the company?
HopSkipDrive is well positioned for future growth. Innovations will increase the competitive moat.
Interested in making a difference in the lives of students, schools and communities at HopSkipDrive?