— The company behind the first data analysis software for the world’s most popular social network is about to move to a larger campus to create a more efficient and cost-effective office.
The Virginia-based company is preparing to shutter the former Data Analysis Center at the University of Virginia and relocate to a new headquarters on the city’s northern outskirts.
The decision will require the company to lay off thousands of people and close about 2,300 IT positions as it attempts to reorganize its business and address some of its biggest challenges, including its growing pains in data science and analytics.
“We have been trying to figure out how we can move data analytics forward in a way that will be a sustainable and efficient business,” said Jeffery Hulme, chief executive of Data Analysis, the company that started with the launch of a Facebook app in 2011.
We’re not going to make the same mistakes twice, said Hulmes partner and chief information officer of data analytics firm Teneo.
Data analytics is a critical area for companies to invest in in a rapidly evolving industry, said John D’Amico, a vice president of corporate strategy at NTT Data.
At Data Analysis’s headquarters in Richmond, which is near a large mall, workers will be moved from the old Data Analysis Building to a large, state-of-the-art data center, where new hires will be required to wear a badge and have a security clearance.
Workers will also have to attend training sessions and be required for a criminal background check.
It will be the largest data center in the United States and the second largest in the world.
There will be no additional IT jobs or additional staff to support the new facility.
More than 500 employees will remain on campus.
While the move will have a ripple effect on the company, its leaders said it is not a drastic move.
Instead, the new location will allow the company more flexibility to respond to changing market conditions and other issues, said CEO Jeffery Shilcutt.
A key challenge of moving to a data center is its cost, which can be as much as $30 million a year.
Data Analysis has been trying for years to reduce costs by shifting more work to cloud computing.
In 2016, the Virginia-born company announced that it had raised $2.5 million to build a data analytics center in New Jersey, which it has since called “the next Data Analysis.”
That deal required the company — a former tech giant with its own cloud computing operations — to lay-off more than 700 people, but the move was not expected to significantly impact the company’s business.
Shilcutts initial estimate was for a 50% reduction in employees.
But the new office will likely cost less than that.
Its first big customer will be Microsoft Corp., which already operates a data data analytics operations center in Fairfax County, Virginia, and is planning to open one in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft is a major customer of Data Analytics, and it has said that it would use the new data center to help the company improve its analytics platform.
Microsoft has invested heavily in data analytics over the past several years, including hiring more than 400 new employees to help run its cloud analytics infrastructure.
For its part, Data Analysis says it will use the move to better manage its data and improve its customer experience.
Companies like Microsoft and Google are starting to make a big push into data analytics and have been building out data centers in places like San Francisco, Seattle and New York.
However, companies are starting by building data centers that are bigger than they need to be and have few employees.