Latest from the blog

500 Growth Hackers Pack Traction Event in Vancouver

Last week’s Traction Conference brought together the brightest technology and business leaders from Vancouver and beyond for two days to discuss ideas and share insight on taking your startup to the next stage and beyond. Anyone who was lucky enough to get what was easily the hottest ticket in town this week, can attest that it was great value all around. I actually can’t recall the last time so many brilliant minds from companies such as HootsuiteDropboxLynda.comMarketoTwitterTwilio, were together at one event in the city to discuss startup growth hacking and ultimately, traction.

So what exactly is growth hacking you ask? The term growth hacker was first coined in 2010 by CEO of Qualaroo, Sean Ellis, who, in a blog post defined a growth hacker as “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” Many people claim growth hacking is essentially a technique used by tech startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure. In the end I believe it’s about scaling your business in a lean, low budget, non traditional way – something all of us have experienced in a startup environment at one time or another.

The short and easily digestible speaker sessions were mixed with fireside chats and expert panels. Speakers shared their knowledge on everything from content marketing, Big Data, A/B testing, and monetization, to analytics, customer retention, virality, and partnerships. Read More…

By on June 25, 2015

D&B Geeks: React-Based Visualization Components

The D&B Geeks build product, and write about it, at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center.

The Core Tools team at the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center is responsible for building cross-team, re-usable visualization components such as line charts, bar charts, and other tabular visualizations. Life as a software engineer is never as simple as that though… :-) Our charts must be flexible enough so they can be combined. They must have legends, axes, markers, and process user input. On top of that, it is our responsibility to provide an authoring tool to easily create, style and publish charts.

In this post, I am going to focus on why we chose React, the component architecture, and where we’re heading with that. Read More…

By on June 11, 2015

Cloud computing visionary Adrian Cockcroft coming to Vancouver

On July 9th, we are excited to be bringing together some of BC’s brightest technology minds to spend an evening with former Netflix Chief Architect of Cloud Services and current technical fellow for VC firm Battery Ventures, Adrian Cockcroft. Join us to hear from Adrian on his top predictions for the cloud computing industry in 2015 and beyond, as well as how cloud-native applications, continuous-delivery and DevOps techniques, will speed the pace of innovation and disruption. A percentage of the proceeds from the event will go towards Girls Learning Code, a not-for-profit initiative of the Ladies Learning Code organization.

Having led Netflix’s migration to the large scale, highly available public-cloud architecture that we know today, Adrian was an early pioneer of public cloud technology and is now one of the world’s most visible men in cloud computing. Adrian is also the author of several well-known books, and the founding member of eBay Research Labs. Read More…

By on June 8, 2015

A Brand Built on Relationships

I’m fascinated by the history of Dun & Bradstreet. Turning 174 years old this year, it’s one of the oldest and, arguably, most influential companies in North America’s history.

Whenever the company comes up in casual conversation (at tradeshows, networking events, the occasional dinner party), the exchange typically starts off something like this:

“Dun & Bradstreet? Sounds familiar.”

“We’ve been providing business information to enable credit decisions for 173 years. We used to collect this information on horseback and hand-write credit reports. Today we have the world’s largest commercial database, and enable credit decisioning using the latest in predictive analytics technology.”

“That’s really cool. I had no idea!”

Dun & Bradstreet may just be one of the coolest and most storied companies you’ve never heard of. We’ve essentially been doing the same thing for the best part of 200 years. In that time, we’ve moved from hand-written credit reports, to 6-monthly print cycles, to phone and fax distribution, right through to the Big Data-fueled software age that exists today. Read More…

By on June 5, 2015

Our First Birthday, By The Numbers

The Cloud Innovation Center is one today! Exactly a year ago, our team of analytics ninjas joined the global Dun & Bradstreet organization and started on a journey to move the company’s flagship risk management application into the cloud. Well, we’re making great progress on the product, and because we like data so much, we thought we’d share a few numbers to illustrate what life’s been like these past 365 days. Cheers! Read More…

By on April 29, 2015

10 Kilometers of Road Yields Mountains of Inspiration

We all come from different backgrounds at the D&B Cloud Innovation Center, and we’re proud of our diverse representation from all corners of the globe. Sharing the good fortune to call gorgeous Vancouver, Canada our home, we are always looking for ways to connect with each other outside of the office. So when the idea of putting together a corporate team for the annual Vancouver Sun Run came up, it was a no brainer that we would be involved. After putting a team together and starting a training routine (our office is a few minutes from the sea wall route) we soon realized that this run was more than just another athletic endeavour – it was a way to really connect with each other, in a way that’s hard to do in the hustle and bustle of everyday office life. Read More…

By on April 21, 2015

Arthritic to Agile: The Software Revolution

In this series, Mark talks about life at the D&B Cloud Innovation Center and the technological, cultural and company transformation the team is part of within Dun & Bradstreet.

When my cloud analytics startup, Indicee, was acquired almost a year ago, many people I spoke with were confused as to why Dun & Bradstreet had acquired the company, its software and its development team. “But doesn’t Dun & Bradstreet do financial stuff?” was something I got asked on a regular basis.

Many more people were confused by my choice to join the rest of my team as part of the newly founded D&B Cloud Innovation Center. After all, I’m a startup guy. A software, startup guy at that. Taking a position within a large, established, financial data company apparently just didn’t fit. Read More…

By on April 7, 2015

Local Entrepreneurs Swap Stories at Six:Forty

We recently took part in the British Columbia Technology Industry Association’s (BCTIA) popular Six:Forty event. Billed as “a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their story – how they got to where they are, and what they learned along the way.” It’s a tremendous opportunity for any CEO or business leader to share their personal story of success with a room of like minded individuals. Read More…

By on March 19, 2015

Introducing our 2015 Ministry of Fun

As everyone on our team here at the D&B Cloud Innovation Center is aware, our culture of spontaneous fun combined with superbly executed celebrations is overseen by a dedicated group of ambitious, effervescent team members (that’s right; effervescent). Together, we form the infamous Ministry of Fun! In the past, we’ve seen city-wide ping pong battles, Gulf Island boating excursions, curling bonspiels, pub nights (also known as PPPP/4P/The Pseudorandom Post-Work Pub Pilgrimage) epic Guitar Hero battles, and more! Read More…

By on February 10, 2015

Proud Sponsors of Vancouver’s HTML500!

In case you were living under a rock this weekend, you may have missed hearing about one of the largest coding events to ever take place in Vancouver: HTML500. Lighthouse Labs presented a bursting at the seams event that will certainly impact future software developers that were in attendance, as well as the growing number of technology-based businesses that make up one of British Columbia’s fastest-growing sectors.

Here’s a quick rundown of what our day as a sponsor was like.

Arriving just after 8 AM, we quickly got checked in and were able to set up our host table which would soon be filled with 10 exuberant students. Read More…

By on January 27, 2015

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