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Something big is coming … mit diesem Teaser wurde das STATWORX-Team nun mehrere Monate unter Hochspannung gehalten, bis am 03. Juli 2020 endlich die Pforten des neuen Büros von STATWORX am Hauptstandort Frankfurt am Main geöffnet wurden. Beim gemütlichen Grillen konnte sich das Team nach einer langen Corona-bedingten Home Office Phase wieder persönlich austauschen und die neuen Räumlichkeiten auf sich wirken lassen. Doch wie war der Weg bis ins neue Office? Eins steht fest: it was a piece of work.

„Hilfe, wir brauchen mehr Platz“ lautete bei STATWORX das Motto, als bereits 2018 die Entscheidung fiel, sich nach neuen Office Räumlichkeiten umzusehen. Unser bisheriger Standort im Frankfurter Westend war seit Ende 2016 der offizielle Hauptsitz. Im Rahmen der Expansion des Geschäfts folgten 10 weitere Desks in WeWork und Design Offices in der Frankfurter Innenstadt. Dass dies keine dauerhafte Lösung bleiben konnte, war klar.

Frankfurt ist ein attraktiver Wirtschaftsstandort und bietet ein großes Angebot an verfügbaren Büroflächen – doch leider oftmals mit dem Fokus auf einen stark verzimmerten Innenausbau. Für STATWORX sollte es loftartig anmuten, mit großzügigen Bereichen für informelles und offenes Arbeiten; in denen der Austausch von Wissen und Kreativität gefördert werden soll. Nach einer fast zweijährigen Suche fiel unsere Entscheidung auf eine insg. 1.400qm große Einheit in der Hanauer Landstr. 150, unweit der Europäischen Zentralbank gelegen. Das Areal um den Ostbahnhof herum steht seit dem Einzug der EZB für Aufbruch, Innovation und Vorankommen. Ein Spirit, mit dem wir uns sehr gut identifizieren können.

Im ca. 500qm großen Erdgeschoss trifft man auf die Empfangs- und Konferenzbereiche der Fläche. Insgesamt 4 Konferenzräume, z.B. für unsere offenen Data Science Kurse, unsere Bootcamp-Reihe sowie für interne Weiterbildungsveranstaltungen, fassen insgesamt bis zu 100 Personen. Dem vorgeschaltet ist die großzügige Lobby, die unter anderem für unsere quartalsweise stattfindenden Townhall-Meetings konzipiert wurde; und aufgrund der STATBAR in Zukunft wohl auch Schauplatz vieler After Work Events des Teams sein wird. Cheers! Besonders stolz sind wir auf unsere in Kooperation mit Poliform Berlin geplante (Event-)Küche. Die auf einem Betonboden ruhende Küche befindet sich in einem knapp 70qm großen Raum und wird künftig das kommunikative Herzstück im Erdgeschoss bilden.

Die Regeletage im ersten Stock unserer Fläche umfasst rund 900qm. Hier herrscht ein Hot Desking Konzept vor, das insbesondere den Erkenntnissen zum Arbeitsalltag der neuerlichen Zeit Rechnung trägt. Muss ein zeitgemäßes Büro für jedes Teammitglied stets einen kompletten Arbeitsplatz vorhalten? Wir finden, spätestens seit Corona, nein. Arbeiten im Jahr 2020 stellt sich immer mehr als eine wenig abgegrenzte Kombination aus Arbeit, Bewegung, Anwesenheit, Home Office und aus spontanen Zusammenkünften dar. Dabei sind eine strenge Verzimmerung von Räumen sowie die Isolation von Menschen in diesen Räumen zum Zwecke des Arbeitens erklärtes Negativbeispiel eines modernen Arbeitsumfelds gewesen. So zielt unser Open Space Bereich des Büros auf Kommunikation ab. Interaktion, Arbeit und Austausch sollen fließend ineinander übergehen. Da dies natürlich nicht für jede Situation des Arbeitstages passend ist, gibt es zusätzlich 5 Gruppenbüros für insg. 20 Teammitglieder sowie die Büros des Managements und die der Geschäftsführung. Immer wieder finden sich in der Fläche Bereiche zum informellen Arbeiten, beispielsweise in Sesseln, auf Sofas oder in einem Think Tank- bzw. Ideenraum, in dem im Stehen konzipiert und gebrainstormed werden kann. In diesem Raum ist beispielsweise die komplette Wand beschreibbar, da sie in einer speziell dafür vorgesehenen Farbe ausgeführt wurde. Besonders interessant war die Planung des Coding Raums, in dem in dunkler „Hacking“-Atmosphäre unsere Mitarbeitenden in besonders ruhiger Umgebung programmieren können. Privat und zurückgezogen sind die Telefonräume konzipiert, die einen Ort für längere Telefonkonferenzen bieten, die nicht am Schreibtisch stattfinden sollen.

Den Namen STATBib hat das Team unserem Bibliotheksbereich gegeben, in dem die umfangreiche Literatursammlung des Unternehmens endlich seinen gebührenden Platz findet. Runde Tische aus geräucherter Eiche mit dunkelgrünen Pendelleuchten darüber versprühen den Charme und die Geborgenheit einer Bibliothek aus vergangenen Zeiten.

A propos Dunkelgrün: Bei der Planung des Interieurs des neuen STATWORX Offices wurde bewusst auf weiße Wände verzichtet. So gibt es in der gesamten Einheit keine einzige weiße Wand oder Decke. Als Hauptverantwortlicher des Projekts „Neues Office“ war es unserem CFO Julius ein persönliches Anliegen, dass die Grenzen zwischen Arbeiten und Wohlfühlen im neuen Büro verschwimmen. Das ging einher mit der Absage an weiß als typische, langweilige Bürofarbe. Farben sind für die Wirkung der Räumlichkeiten, in denen wir uns bewegen, essenziell. Das Farbkonzept basiert auf erdigen Farben mit grünen Untertönen, die das Gefühl von Behaglichkeit, Besonnenheit, aber auch von Motivation und Energie vermitteln. Bei der Wahl der Möbel kamen überwiegend natürliche Materialien zum Einsatz: viel Echtholz, viel Stoff, viel schwarz – gepaart mit Designklassikern aus unterschiedlichen Epochen und Ländern.

All diese kreativen Entscheidungen spiegeln einen wichtigen Teil unserer Unternehmenskultur wider. Diese folgt der Leitlinie eines kollegialen Miteinanders und unserem Versprechen an Arbeit auf höchstem Niveau. Hierzu tragen ein ästhetisch durchdachtes und qualitativ wertiges Arbeitsumfeld genauso bei wie Kompetenz unserer Mitarbeitenden.

Für das Team einen schönen Ort des Arbeitens und des Zusammentreffens zu realisieren, waren mein persönlicher Anspruch und stetiger Motivator über die gesamte Projektdauer hinweg.

Du bist neugierig geworden auf unser neues Office? Wir freuen uns, ab sofort wieder viele neue Gesichter, Kunden, Freunde und altbekannte Partner in unserem neuen Headquarter in der Hanauer Landstr. 150 in Frankfurt begrüßen zu dürfen. Welcome to STATWORX!

Fast gleichzeitig mit unseren Kollegen in Frankfurt sind auch wir, das Schweizer STATWORX Team in Zürich, Anfang Juli in ein neues Büro umgezogen.

Die neuen Räumlichkeiten im hippen Industrieviertel von Zürich bieten den perfekten Rahmen für das weitere Wachstum und den geplanten Ausbau des Schweizer Standortes von STATWORX.

Zurück zu den Anfängen

Wie es der Zufall will, wurde STATWORX Schweiz direkt gegenüber vom neuen Bürogebäude ins Leben gerufen. Zwei Jahre nach der Gründung von STATWORX in Frankfurt hat unser CEO, Sebastian Heinz, im Jahr 2013 hier am Turbinenplatz diese Zweigniederlassung eröffnet, um die vielen Schweizer Unternehmen direkt vor Ort beraten zu können.

Mit der ersten Erweiterung des Teams im Jahr 2018 wurde der Standort gewechselt und so arbeitete STATWORX Schweiz bis Ende Juni 2020 im Zentrum von Zürich.

Im neuen Office, am Puls des Kreis 5, haben wir nun genügend Platz für die weitere Entwicklung und dem damit verbundenen Teamzuwachs von STATWORX Schweiz.

Der moderne Open-Space mit Sichtbeton, weiten Glassfronten und tropischen Pflanzen bietet den perfekten Raum für kreatives und konzentriertes Arbeiten. Die Dachterrasse sorgt für einen perfekten Erholungsort für die Pausen zwischendurch.

AI Potential der Schweiz

Im Laufe der Jahre haben wir bereits mit vielen Schweizer Unternehmen gemeinsam an deren Data Science, Machine Learning und AI Herausforderungen gearbeitet. Dabei sind wir industrieübergreifend aktiv gewesen: ob Versicherung, Finanzdienstleistung, Transport, Retail oder Telekommunikation – wir haben in nahezu allen Branchen bereits Erfahrungen gesammelt. Auch die Themen waren vielfältig und spannend: von der Prognose der Kundenabwanderung im Versicherungsumfeld, einer Datenstrategie im öffentlichen Transport, über Anomalieerkennung in Telekommunikationsnetzen bis zur Prognose von Abflugverspätungen ist so ziemlich alles dabei gewesen, was das Herz jedes Data Scientist höher schlagen lässt.

Auch in Zukunft möchten wir mit unserer Expertise und breitgefächerten Erfahrung dazu beitragen, das Thema Data Science und AI in der Schweiz voranzutreiben und mitzugestalten. Wir sind davon überzeugt, dass wir mit unserem integrativen End-2-End Ansatz viele Prozesse, Dienstleistungen und Produkte in Unternehmen verbessern und effizienter gestalten können.

Um das AI Potential der Schweiz zu erschließen, werden wir in naher Zukunft ein maßgeschneidertes Portfolio an Initiativen und Workshops lancieren – stay tuned!

 

For nearly a whole year, the STATcrew waited for this magic moment: The STATWORX Office Opening Day! On July 3rd, we celebrated the opening of our new office in the Eastend of Frankfurt.

Exploring The New Space

The day started with a tour of our new building. Everyone was excited to see the brand new office since our CFO Julius put so much effort into transforming the space into a modern, welcoming place to work. On the tour, the crew was eager to examine the whole area with its lovely details, tech gadgets, lounge places, conference rooms, and much more.

Talking Strategy

Afterward, we had our quarterly town hall meeting to get everyone up-to-date on company news. For several hours we talked about communication, strategy, and goals for the coming months.

Firing up the grill on the patio outside the office.

Time For Food and Snacks

Finally, after a lot of insightful talks, we fired up the grill to have a tasty barbecue with cold beers and delicious wine. Since we’ve all been working from home for the last couple of months, we had a lot of catching up to do.

Who has the coolest new hairstyle? How are the new parents and their babies doing? Are weddings still happening? Of course, there was a lot of work-talk, too, but we certainly loved seeing all those familiar faces again.

Back to Work

One of the most significant changes is the sheer amount of conference rooms we have now! And not only that: The rooms are all different, some with sofas and armchairs, others with bar tables and stools. It’s really fun to try out every room and to find new stuff and details in each one.

We’ve been working in our new office for over a week now, and the motivation is as high as ever. With our heads full ideas and on the lookout for new challenges, we’re off to new adventures!

Once again, an amazing year at STATWORX is coming to an end. The frequency and magnitude of positive things happening to our company are continuously increasing with every new client, employee, or partner coming to our company. That is why the very first paragraph of this post ends with a massive THANK YOU to my whole team, our customers and partners. We would not be where we are now without you. Let’s keep up the awesome work!

STATWORX is constantly growing each year, both in revenue and profit, as well as in services and products – likewise in 2019. Our growth deeply embodies a high pace of change into our company’s DNA and all the things that surround us. That is why sometimes you can lose track of all the different things happening throughout the year. To keep track of our evolving company, I’ve decided to write down some of the most important things that moved our company this year, ranging from exciting projects, new partners to great festivities and special events. Let’s begin the time travel!

Projects & Academy

The various kinds of data science, machine learning, and AI projects, which we deliver for our cross-industry customers, are the cornerstone of our company. And by cross-industry, I really mean it: automotive, finance, pharma, retail, insurance, aviation – you name it. I would assume that there isn’t a single industry we have not worked in so far. That greatly enlarges our perspective on the field of data science and AI and helps us to translate solutions from different industries or functions into our project environments across our customers. This year, there have been so many fascinating projects, both end-2-end as well as prototypes / MVPs, that it’s tough to pick the gems. My personal favorites would most likely be the ground operations optimization project for one of our airline customers, as well as our various ML and NLP projects we’ve conducted for the purchasing department of one of our automotive customers. Besides that, we’ve delivered several forecasting products, customer analytics solutions, as well as different dashboards and ML fueled applications. Furthermore, in our strategy department, we’ve supported several new customers from the financial and insurance industry, who are just getting started with data science and AI by setting up their data and analytics platform strategies. Whew!

Besides our consulting projects, the “STATWORX Academy” brings a multitude of different data science, ML and AI trainings and workshops to our customers. One of the most exciting training projects this year was, for sure, a company-wide AI leadership training for one of our biggest customers. With a team from their professional development department, IT, and data science in finance, we’ve forged a manifold and interactive workshop, specifically targeted at middle to top management leaders. Besides multiple training sessions in Germany, this also led to cross-continental trainings in the USA as well as China. It was fascinating to discuss with leaders from various cultural backgrounds about AI and its implications on business, society and life in general. I am really looking forward to continue this training initiative in 2020.

Another great workshop event this year was our brand-new “Deep Learning Bootcamp”. Besides our battle-proven „Data Science Bootcamp”, we’ve created a 5-day workshop all around neural networks and deep learning. Thereby, we are digging into the basic concepts, such as MLPs, CNNs, and LSTMs, but also into more advanced topics such as GANs, autoencoders, and deep reinforcement learning. The first Bootcamp was a great success, for which we received loads of positive feedback from our participants. I can’t wait for the next session in the first quarter of 2020, with many new topics and programming exercises in Python and TensorFlow.

Investments

In 2019 we’ve also conducted our first financial investments into companies and products we believe in: first to mention is bamboolib, a product two former STATWORKERS created in their newly founded company. bamboolib is a low-code data preparation and visualization GUI for pandas in Jupyter (yes, a GUI for Jupyter). It allows data science professionals to carry out time-consuming data prep and manipulation steps 10x faster. Furthermore, it enables Python and pandas starters to learn the concepts of data prep more easily. bamboolib is currently making huge waves on LinkedIn, so I definitely recommend that you check it out!

Besides bamboolib, we’ve engaged in a joint-venture called ONEZERO-X that is bringing data science, machine learning, and AI to sports business. We’ve already had our first project for a German soccer club and created a great MVP for forecasting soccer stadium utilization by using historical sales data and many external effects. I will be presenting the new joint venture at IN-BETA AUDITIONS in Frankfurt in January 2020.

Partners

STATWORX is continually engaging with new partners to leverage synergies and to bring our services to a broader audience of customers. One of our longest and most fruitful partnerships is with Dataiku. The French software startup just reached unicorn-level company valuation and never ceases to surprise us with new powerful features on their innovative data science platform as well as with their excellent team spirit and collaborative work approach. Additionally, to support our clients on all major cloud platforms, we have further extended our cloud service provider network by entering partnerships with Microsoft and AWS, on top of our existing partnership with Google (GCP).

Depending on high-quality data in everything we do, we understand how important it is for all companies to build up a clean and structured data foundation. Therefore, on multiple occasions, we joined forces with the data management and data governance focused University of St. Gallen spin-off CDQ. Last but not least, we added renowned semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics to the list of our partners. We are thrilled to leverage their STM32 microcontrollers’ capabilities, to run AI directly on edge controllers, which allows the integration of state-of-the-art neural networks in highly specialized industrial applications.

Events

When it comes to events and conferences, STATWORX is always ready to jump in. Not only to gather new knowledge but also to network, make new connections, and get new leads. One of our favorite events throughout the year is the Data Festival in Munich. This year, our Head of Data Science, Fabian Müller, gave an exciting talk about XAI (explainable AI), its current applications, and limitations. The Data Festival is getting bigger and bigger each year, which triggers the creativity of our marketing to come up with great new ideas for our STATWORX booth. This year, we launched our „Beat the AI“ campaign, where visitors of our booth could compete against a reinforcement learning agent that learned how to play Super Mario on NES.

“Beat the AI” was also our campaign at EGG Germany 2019 in Stuttgart, the 1-day AI conference organized by our friends at Dataiku. Here, we gave a talk on how to bring data science and AI to organizations using Dataiku together with our friends from Mercedes Benz.

image-03-egg-germany

Another exceptional event this year was the „KEX Forecasting Challenge“. Here, a selection of AI vendors was given a dataset of daily sales data that they were asked to forecast. The actual sales data was held back to ensure a fair competition. In an intense weekend session, the “STATWORX Black Ops” team managed to build a machine learning model for 10 different products that was able to forecast 365 days ahead. During the presentation of the results, we’ve received great feedback from the data supplying company and currently engage in a joint project.

Another highlight of 2019 was our participation in the Swiss AI Hackathon, where we competed against 10 other teams in the development of a machine learning model for turnaround delay prediction. This 2-day event in Zurich certainly was one of the most challenging events this year, since we had a great variety of data sources to deal with to make the model work. After 2-days of coffee, red bull, beer, and pizza, the STATWORX team made it on to the winners‘ podium and presented our modeling approach in front of several members of the Swiss BOM.

Data University

As you could read up until here, the last year was filled with new opportunities and challenges for us. One of those challenges for us as a team was the Data University, our first-ever open event. We created the event with the help of our partner BARC in early 2019. Together, we developed a marketing plan, designed the curriculum, built a website, and created the workshops. In October, we held the interactive 2-day workshop-event at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, with 40 participants, 8 trainers, and a whole lot of pizzas. Furthermore, our friends from Frankfurt Data Science organized an event in the evening about “How to become a Data Scientist” with over 100 participants that perfectly matched our topics at Data University. I want to thank everyone at BARC again for the great partnership. If you’re interested in our newest events and plans, then follow us on our various social media accounts and stay tuned.

image-05-DUgruppenfoto

Work events

With all the hard work we do here at STATWORX, we also like to relax and have some after-work fun. There have been multiple occasions during the past twelve months, where my team prepared parties, fun get-togethers and excursions to take our collective minds off of work. One of these occasions was the famous STATWORX summer barbecue, which took place on a very hot Friday evening in June. Everyone prepared something to eat, like a salad or tasty finger food, and we enjoyed the great weather with some fresh cocktails on our terrace.

But the barbecue wasn’t the only time we had great luck with the weather. In October, part of our crew went on a day trip to the picturesque Rheingau, the famous wine region known for its world-famous Riesling wines. With sunglasses on and a glass of delicious white wine in hand, the group went hiking for about four hours in the vineyards.

Last but not least, the Christmas spirit found its way into the STATWORX office. For our Christmas party in late November, the team prepared a large pot of hot wine, wrapped gifts for everyone, and showcased some very creative Ugly Sweaters. To finalize this amazing year, we also took a weekend trip to Belgium, where we time to unwind, talk, play games, laugh, and party.

As you can see, we had a lot of fun days and nights together. A big shout out to everyone who helped organize these events. Cheers!

Outlook on 2020

What a year! By writing all of this down, I started to realize how diverse and inspiring all of the different things were that happened at our company in the last year. And there is always more to come: in the first half of 2020, we will move into the brand-new STATWORX HQ in Frankfurt on 1’400 sqm on 2 floors. This will be our biggest and boldest move so far, which will enable our company and employees to grow, prosper, and develop even further. In terms of services, we will continue to strengthen our team and offerings in data and software engineering to accord with the skyrocketing demand for ML ops and industrialization of machine learning and AI applications. In addition to that, we will be launching our first own AI software product in 2020, which will be another massive step for our company on our collective journey along the road of STATWORX.

I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds for us! The only thing that remains constant in life is change. I am wishing you a happy holiday and a joyful new year.

Best wishes from your friends at STATWORX. This text was written by GPT-2 (just kidding).

Last Sunday, part of our STATWORX crew went on a day trip to the picturesque Rheingau, the famous wine region known for its Riesling. The trip was planned around the three tourist pillars of the region: wine, castles & hiking.

Weinwanderung-Collage-1

A warm welcome

Full of excitement (which we had already expressed in the days before, by sending each other funny wine and hiking related GIFs), we met at noon at Frankfurt’s central station, where we all took the train to the Rheingau. After a one-hour train journey, sweetened with some delicious self-made puff pastry snacks from our dear colleague Jessi, we arrived at the beautiful village of Oestrich-Winkel. There, our two tour guides Bernadette and Klaus Wolter from RheingauPur picked us up. After a warm welcome to the region, everyone received their own wine glass for the different tastings during the day, and off we went!

Wine tasting can be a real challenge

While walking through the beautiful vineyards, it was hard to believe that we were only a one-hour train ride away from Frankfurt. With the warm sun and the light breeze, the vast landscapes with beautiful castles could evoke feelings of holidays in Tuscany or Provence. On our way, Bernadette and Klaus taught us about the whole wine production process, starting with the right way to maintain a vineyard up to the correct wine-tasting technique. Because some of us had some starting difficulties with this tasting technique (or perhaps they just wanted to refill their glass very quickly 😄), here one more time: Take a big sip of wine in your mouth, close your nose and swirl the wine around a little. Then swallow the wine and open your nose at the same time. This way, you can taste the full flavors of the wine.

Weinwanderung-Collage-2

Gin at a vineyard?

After around three hours of learning, hiking, and of course, also some wine tasting, we arrived at the beautiful Castle Johannisberg. From there, we had a beautiful view of the Rhine and the surrounding vineyards. In the castle’s shop, some of us bought a bottle of the local Gin – yes, you’ve read correctly, they produce not only wine but also some delicious fruity and smooth Gin – a real treat for our STATWORX Gin lovers. After one last glass of delightful Riesling in the warm evening sun, we headed back through the vineyards to Oestrich-Winkel, where we all enjoyed a tasty traditional dinner.

Off to new adventures!

On the train back, we were still talking about all the lovely experiences of the day. Seeing a grape harvesting machine in action is not something you see every day! And even the non-wine drinkers among us had to admit that the wines we had tasted that day were excellent. Although none of us had the impression that we walked that much during the day, we all felt our feet and legs as we got off the train in Frankfurt. With this feeling and the warmth of the sun still on our faces, we all went home already looking forward to the next adventure on one of our STATWORX trips!

Thank you very much, Bernadette and Klaus, for the lovely tour!

Summer in Frankfurt means blue skies, warm nights and happy people all around. That’s why STATWORX made it a tradition to have a company barbecue and enjoy some good food and drink while mingling with colleagues and friends. Moreover, we had a great reason to celebrate: as of late we’re the STATWORX GmbH (engl.: limited company). So, last Friday we had a party!

pictures GmbH party

Work hard, party hard

But not so fast: before the first beers were opened, our CEO and CFO gave us an overview of the company’s current situation and the general plans for the future. (Side note: you know you’re in a room full of consultants if half of the audience is so intrigued by the spot-on design of the powerpoint slides that the presented content almost becomes secondary!)

After several insightful hours of presentation, motivated by past accomplishments and eager to put the presented game plan into practice, we finally began to prepare the party. I must say it was really cool to see how smoothly everyone was working together. In almost no time we had set up the tables, grills and decorations in the backyard. When the buffet table was loaded up with home-made goodies, it became evident that some of us are not only talented statisticians, marketing geniuses or brilliant data scientists but also seasoned chefs.

Soon, the first guests started to arrive, and after the first vegetarian steaks and traditional sausages were sizzling on the grill, the party was instantly in full swing. Even a short shower of rain couldn’t dampen the mood. Maybe, the exotic and simply delicious cocktails mixed by our very own barkeeper might have helped with that. Let me tell you, the non-alcoholic Mojito was a revelation.

We spend the evening connecting with new collogues, old colleagues as well as their friends and families. It also was very cool to chat with our Swiss colleagues in person again, who were kind enough to bring an exceptional swiss speciality – a whole box of Luxemburgerli! – all the way with them. The evening was topped off by several former colleagues who stopped by to catch up.

To not overstrain the patience and ears of our lovely neighbours, we moved the party inside. On the makeshift dancefloor, laser-show included, we danced our heart out to the finest tunes played by our current CEO and former DJ. Since it wouldn’t be a STATWORX production without some facts and figures, so here some stats about the barbecue:

Would you like to be part of the next STATWORX summer barbecue? You can become part of the team. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

 

 

After a year both challenging and rewarding, STATWORX has taken the opportunity of the calm before the Year-End to retreat from the office for a few days.

A remote area in the Belgian countryside was chosen as the location for the weekend getaway, where the team would spend a couple of days reflecting on the events of the past year, gearing up for the challenges of the new one and engaging in various workshops and team-building activities.

Friday

We kicked off our weekend retreat by meeting up with our dedicated bus driver Taki, who would accompany us on our way. After a quick team photo in front of the bus STATWORX was ready for boarding and we were off on our merry way to Belgium.

Upon arriving we were impressed by the nicely decorated common room and the expansive wellness area, which would make the retreat that much more relaxing. Hungry from travelling, everyone’s faces lit up once a big delivery of pizzas from a local restaurant was brought to our doorsteps. We spent the first evening settling in, relaxing and making extensive use of the pool table over local Belgian beer.

decorated-tree

Saturday

Saturday was dedicated to workshops and group activities. Among others this included a surprisingly exhausting introduction to Yoga, extended walks and exploration of the surrounding area, baking Christmas snacks and dessert, an in-depth demonstration of Swiss 4pm-snack culture and of course constant discussion about R, its community and our very own helfRlein package of helper functions. As expected this would prompt the Python faction within the Data Science team to quickly interject and claim superiority over R and its packages, mocking the fact that we need to create our own for daily routine operations. The good mood continued over the warm hissing of Raclette-grills running overtime.

statworx-raclette

The evening also brought on the first snow of the year, which made for an excellent excuse to escape the cold and watch the snowfall from the safety of the heated pool area. Others made use of the common room and played various card games and a variation of the popular Mafia role-playing game which let emotions run high.

Sunday

There was no time to be lost on Sunday morning. After a rich final breakfast everyone started packing their belongings and before long we were already on our way back to Frankfurt. The landscape had been covered by the previous night’s snow, which made for a scenic ride back.

statworx-in-white

Conclusion

This weekend getaway was a great way of ending an exciting year at STATWORX on a high note. We had the opportunity to look back on many interesting projects and give a toast on many more to come. The weekend also provided a great opportunity for members of the Team Data Science and the Team Statistics to mix it up a little and get more familiar with each other, which is not a given during the daily project routine. Furthermore, it was one of the rare occasions where members of all the three STATWORX teams, namely the teams from Frankfurt, Zurich and Vienna, got together and could share their experiences and know-how amongst each other.

Strenghtened and with high spirits we return to work, looking forward to a new year hopefully equally as challenging and rewarding as the last one!

Once upon a time, we at STATWORX used Slack just as a messenger, but than everything changed when emojis came… Since then, we use them for all kinds of purposes. For example we take polls with them to see were we will eat lunch or we capture unforgettable moments by creating new emojis. The possibilities are limitless! But since we use them so much, I was wondering how often do we use them. And when? And which is the top-emoji?! Is it just the thumbsup?

To answer all these questions, I went on a little journey troughout my emotions.

Getting the data

The first part was to gather data. Well, since nearly every tool has a log history this was quite simple. I just had to get the history (the last year) of our Slack channels which was provided within JSONS. These I could easily load into R with the jsonlite package. To get a list of all possible emojis, I found this list from Cal Henderson who works at Slack. I added our own custom emojis to complete the list.

All that followed, was a little loop to go through each message and its reactions and count the occurences of each emoji. Combined with the timestamp given in seconds from January the first in 1970, I had my emoji time series data that looked like this:

                     EMOJI COUNT     TIME     TYPE       DATE
1: :slightly_smiling_face:     1 08:56:05  message 2018-08-10
2: :slightly_smiling_face:     1 17:08:19  message 2018-08-10
3:                  :gift:     2 08:36:04 reaction 2018-08-18
4:                   :joy:     1 13:47:10 reaction 2018-09-03
5:                    :+1:     1 13:56:12 reaction 2018-09-04

After evaluating each single text I found that more than every second chat (57%) either has an emoji in the messasge or as a reaction. So we really use them a lot!

The right timing

Since the majority was used as a reaction, I summed them up and did not distinguish between messages and reactions. To get a first idea of how often and when we use emojis I looked at a frequency plot over time. There are two things to notice: First, we see an increase over time. Well our company grew, so more people equals more emojis. Second, we tend to not use them during the weekend – who would have thought!?

emoji-over-year

But what about our daily usage? Well there seem to be some peaks. One peak appears right after wake up time, another one when we arrive at the office. Here we can distinguish between colleagues with the mobil app and the ones that just use Slack with the desktop app. There is another peak around our lunchbreak and it comes all to end before we go to bed at 22:00.

emoji-over-day

Cause and effect

Since I started this little project, more and more questions popped into my head. For example: Is there a link between the emoji’s usage within a message and as a reaction? Are there words, that trigger us to use emojis? To answer the first questions, I used the networkD3 package to plot the interaction as a sankey diagram.

emoji-sankey-category

Here we can see which categories of emojis used within a message lead to which reactions. The most commonly used category is Smileys & People followed by custom. And around 40% stay within the same category.

To answer the second question I made some wordclouds to see which words we use. The ones in orange are those where a reaction followed.

wordcloud

We can see, that we use more words with no emoji reaction than the other way around. If we only look at the ones with emoji reactions, then we get the following picture.

wordcloud-emoji

Seems that if we ask a question „heute wer mal bitte …“ („today someone please…“), we get an reaction – mostly positive.

The most common emojis

emoji-category

As we can see in the plot above, we use the emoji’s categories differently. First of all, Smileys and People are used the most. But if we look at the emoji density – which represents the percentage of unique used emoji wihtin this category – we only use a third of them. On the other hand, nearly 80% of our custom emojis were used.

To find the most commonly used emojis I looked at the top 50 emojis within messages and reactions. Also I stumbled upon two R packages (emoGG and emojifont) which let you add emojis to your ggplots. This sounded wonderful, but there was a catch! Since we work with RStudio on a Mac I could not use the RStudio plotting device, since it would not show the emojis. After a little bit of research, I found this post here, which suggested to use quartz() and grid.export with .svg for the plotting. The loaded font obviously did not have our own emojis, so I just added them as❓.

emoji-plot

So, as I thought in the beginning our top emoji is 👍, followed by 😂 and 😄.

Emoji message as reaction total
👍 0 482 482
😂 98 281 379
😄 260 49 309

But since there is a lot going on in the lower left corner – let’s have a closer look! We can see a variety of emojis beeing used with a lot of custom ones.

emoji-plotdetails

With this package, we can also update the plot showing our daily usage with the most commonly used one at the time.

emoji-over-day-with-icon

Conclusion

With this little project I just scratched the surface of possibilities to analyse the usage of emojis. If you have more ideas, I would like to see your approach and solutions. Just send me an email at blog@statworx.com. To get started you can use my code at our GitHub – not containing our whole data of course, but with an example folder with two jsons. Here you can add your own Slack history.

References

Once upon a time, we at STATWORX used Slack just as a messenger, but than everything changed when emojis came… Since then, we use them for all kinds of purposes. For example we take polls with them to see were we will eat lunch or we capture unforgettable moments by creating new emojis. The possibilities are limitless! But since we use them so much, I was wondering how often do we use them. And when? And which is the top-emoji?! Is it just the thumbsup?

To answer all these questions, I went on a little journey troughout my emotions.

Getting the data

The first part was to gather data. Well, since nearly every tool has a log history this was quite simple. I just had to get the history (the last year) of our Slack channels which was provided within JSONS. These I could easily load into R with the jsonlite package. To get a list of all possible emojis, I found this list from Cal Henderson who works at Slack. I added our own custom emojis to complete the list.

All that followed, was a little loop to go through each message and its reactions and count the occurences of each emoji. Combined with the timestamp given in seconds from January the first in 1970, I had my emoji time series data that looked like this:

                     EMOJI COUNT     TIME     TYPE       DATE
1: :slightly_smiling_face:     1 08:56:05  message 2018-08-10
2: :slightly_smiling_face:     1 17:08:19  message 2018-08-10
3:                  :gift:     2 08:36:04 reaction 2018-08-18
4:                   :joy:     1 13:47:10 reaction 2018-09-03
5:                    :+1:     1 13:56:12 reaction 2018-09-04

After evaluating each single text I found that more than every second chat (57%) either has an emoji in the messasge or as a reaction. So we really use them a lot!

The right timing

Since the majority was used as a reaction, I summed them up and did not distinguish between messages and reactions. To get a first idea of how often and when we use emojis I looked at a frequency plot over time. There are two things to notice: First, we see an increase over time. Well our company grew, so more people equals more emojis. Second, we tend to not use them during the weekend – who would have thought!?

emoji-over-year

But what about our daily usage? Well there seem to be some peaks. One peak appears right after wake up time, another one when we arrive at the office. Here we can distinguish between colleagues with the mobil app and the ones that just use Slack with the desktop app. There is another peak around our lunchbreak and it comes all to end before we go to bed at 22:00.

emoji-over-day

Cause and effect

Since I started this little project, more and more questions popped into my head. For example: Is there a link between the emoji’s usage within a message and as a reaction? Are there words, that trigger us to use emojis? To answer the first questions, I used the networkD3 package to plot the interaction as a sankey diagram.

emoji-sankey-category

Here we can see which categories of emojis used within a message lead to which reactions. The most commonly used category is Smileys & People followed by custom. And around 40% stay within the same category.

To answer the second question I made some wordclouds to see which words we use. The ones in orange are those where a reaction followed.

wordcloud

We can see, that we use more words with no emoji reaction than the other way around. If we only look at the ones with emoji reactions, then we get the following picture.

wordcloud-emoji

Seems that if we ask a question „heute wer mal bitte …“ („today someone please…“), we get an reaction – mostly positive.

The most common emojis

emoji-category

As we can see in the plot above, we use the emoji’s categories differently. First of all, Smileys and People are used the most. But if we look at the emoji density – which represents the percentage of unique used emoji wihtin this category – we only use a third of them. On the other hand, nearly 80% of our custom emojis were used.

To find the most commonly used emojis I looked at the top 50 emojis within messages and reactions. Also I stumbled upon two R packages (emoGG and emojifont) which let you add emojis to your ggplots. This sounded wonderful, but there was a catch! Since we work with RStudio on a Mac I could not use the RStudio plotting device, since it would not show the emojis. After a little bit of research, I found this post here, which suggested to use quartz() and grid.export with .svg for the plotting. The loaded font obviously did not have our own emojis, so I just added them as❓.

emoji-plot

So, as I thought in the beginning our top emoji is 👍, followed by 😂 and 😄.

Emoji message as reaction total
👍 0 482 482
😂 98 281 379
😄 260 49 309

But since there is a lot going on in the lower left corner – let’s have a closer look! We can see a variety of emojis beeing used with a lot of custom ones.

emoji-plotdetails

With this package, we can also update the plot showing our daily usage with the most commonly used one at the time.

emoji-over-day-with-icon

Conclusion

With this little project I just scratched the surface of possibilities to analyse the usage of emojis. If you have more ideas, I would like to see your approach and solutions. Just send me an email at blog@statworx.com. To get started you can use my code at our GitHub – not containing our whole data of course, but with an example folder with two jsons. Here you can add your own Slack history.

References