A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs: Ralph & Quoc
When Quoc Nguyen and Ralph Godsey were looking at graduate programs, they didn’t realize that a year after graduation, they would put their skills to the test and open their own analytics practice. “I remember I was looking at some online programs but they didn’t fit the description I was looking for. Then this flyer about Texas A&M’s program came out and I said: hmm, let me check it out” said Godsey. Nguyen was a Geologist working for an oil/gas company at the time he was looking at graduate programs. “I wanted to learn the ins and outs of big data and for me, there was no other choice but the A&M program.” That fall of 2018, both Ralph and Quoc enrolled in the Master of Science in Analytics at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School. “It was tough. The classes were hard, but were fun. It’s hard to explain, but they were related to what we were doing, and also gave us an idea of how to use these methods differently” said Nguyen. As they reflect on their time in the program, they credit the ability to build a predictive model from the ground up, and the topics discussed in the classes which allowed them to arrive at this unique position.
Today, they both run an analytics consulting company, DataSway, where they deliver custom solutions to capture, analyze, and share huge volumes of data from on site data management systems, cloud applications, social media, and numerous other sources. They combine their expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning models with business intelligence to help companies innovate new ways to manage cost, increase sales, and become more efficient.
“It’s what we learned in class! How many students can get to say, hey, we literally opened a company thanks to what we learned in class. We did it by the book and it was thanks to the Analytics program at Texas A&M.”
Through DataSway, Ralph and Quoc developed a partnership with AllHay.com and created a project using analytics to predict the price of hay across the United States. Today, they’ve managed to create a subscription based service SaaS product called HayMarket Analytics to help buyers, producers and co-ops, make informed decisions with the help of dashboards and analytics designed by both MS Analytics former students.
Why was this needed?
The current US hay market is estimated to be a $17 billion industry and has historically been under served by the cutting-edge technologies that DataSway brings to market. This project was derived from Ralph’s MS Analytics 2020 Capstone project “Hedging the Price of Cattle with Alfalfa Hay.” This tool addresses a couple of industries and their needs: Beef cattle sales and ranching as well as hay producers and buyers.
The Analytics Behind It All
The dashboard created tracks and graphically displays current US Department of Agriculture, US Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data for national hay transactions by region, class, & quality, cattle on feed rates, and US drought conditions. With this data, DataSway developed a unique indexing metric based on the Drought Severity and Coverage Index (DSCI) to measure the current drought impact on hay production and does so on a county level for every State in the US. Additionally, this data allowed them to create a US hay market heat map showing where hay is in demand. Pushpins on the map are linked to premium listings of hay for sale within the AllHay site and are clickable. This helps hay buyers quickly view listings in their area. Perhaps the most complex and valuable piece of AllHay is the predictive Model built which predicts with a 95% confidence interval the price of specific types of hay. The machine learning model employed is a Recursive Neural Network (RNN) that uses 156 independent vectors as its inputs and are comprised of everything from individual US beef cut prices to regional #2 Diesel and a custom DSCI.
Alfalfa price prediction across different statesThe Market
Important data to see your market and competition
Ralph Godsey is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of strong business development skills and a passion for strategy. He possesses a creative analytical mind and is an “Out of the Box” thinker. Prior to founding DataSway Consulting, LLC Ralph compiled decades of experience as the Vice President of Operations & Sr. Fraud Investigator for TransAmerica Adjusters, Inc. observing and studying the behavioral and social network patterns within populations from both macro and micro standpoint.
Quoc Nguyen possesses 20+ years of experience in the oil & gas industry working for large companies like Schlumberger and Pioneer Resources. He has also extensive experience in big data, data management and modeling. He was instrumental in building Accelerate Resources, a $300 million Company, from the ground up.