DISQO Profile: Getting to Know Carl Van Ostrand

At DISQO, data quality ranks supreme. It drives our decision making and inspires us to develop elevated insights for our clients. Just ask our VP of Data Solutions, Carl Van Ostrand, who works to find solutions backed by data you can trust. What does his day-to-day look like and how does he continuously improve to create real impact? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this week’s DISQO Profile.

The Day-to-Day
Given his title, it’s no wonder that Carl’s day is filled with data. Most of his time is spent directly on client projects, finding solutions to their research needs by leveraging DISQO’s behavioral panel and data set. He collaborates with the team internally to ensure everyone is aligned with project goals and to develop deep insights that create positive change.

Life Before DISQO
Carl is experienced in the market research field, having previously worked with attitudinal data, panels, and survey data. In his prior roles, Carl executed full-service custom projects and utilized emerging technologies to enhance how the industry conducts research today. Excited about being a part of the DISQO team, Carl stated, “Nothing could have fully prepared me for the adventure at DISQO, but I’ve had the full support of a wonderful executive suite, product team, and sales staff.”

The Perfect Fit
What made DISQO the right fit for Carl? In his own words: “DISQO offered everything I’ve enjoyed during my career in market research. Leading-edge technology, a drive to innovate new solutions, a fun work culture, and a client-first mentality.“

Continuously Improving & Uplifting
At DISQO, we strive to continuously expand our knowledge, improve our skills, and support each other’s growth. When we asked Carl how he’s grown since joining the DISQO tribe, he stated, “I’ve become an expert on the application of, and solutions created from, consumer behavioral data sets. This is still a relatively untapped source of value, despite many leading corporations adopting it.”

When it comes to supporting others, Carl always takes time to commend the small wins and help his peers over any hurdles that they may face.

Acting as a Resource
How does Carl act as a resource for the rest of his team? “It’s common these days that I’ll look up in the sky and see a ‘bat signal’ indicating a need for help with behavioral data and insights. I am the internal and external resource for anyone who signals on that front.”

Having extensive industry knowledge doesn’t stop Carl from turning to others for continued professional growth. “One of the best parts of working at DISQO is that I have several mentors always available to me. I am constantly learning from them.”

Favorite DISQO Moment
We then asked Carl to share his favorite moment with DISQO so far: “It’s hard to top the soccer game at the company outing, on a huge cliff-side field overlooking the Pacific. It was intense, I believe there was a broken toe and I definitely twisted both ankles.”

Outside the Office
On the weekends, you can find Carl playing bass guitar while his 9-year-old plays the drums alongside him. He loves going to the gym and is an avid player of board games. According to Carl, it’s not unusual for him to be playing board games for an entire Saturday or Sunday!

Curious to find out some of Carl’s favorites, we asked him to share the animal, app, show, and music genre he loves most:

  • Favorite animal — “I’ve grown to like the Ostrich over the years, because people like to point out that my last name kind of sounds like Ostrich.”
  • Favorite app — “You mean besides Slack? I am sort of addicted to Reddit.”
  • Favorite show — “I can only pick one? I’d say Black Mirror, because of its excellent and creepy take on the (possible) horrors of unchecked technology.”
  • Favorite music — “Since I have a 9-year old drummer, we’ve recently cracked open my old CD collection which has revilitized my ‘grunge’ phase – which means Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Chile Peppers, and some Weezer and Green Day.”

Fun Facts

  1. Carl hates only one food: olives. “I wish I liked them, though.”
  2. “I have designed 3 board games that have been published.”

The Future of the Industry
Shifting the conversation, we then asked Carl what 3 things he thinks will change in our industry in the next 3 years. Here’s what he had to say:

  1. “There will be an ongoing shift towards the use of passive and behavioral data sets. With accuracy and quality issues surrounding other types of data, professionals will develop new ways to leverage observed, validated data.
  2. Data science teams will become the norm. There is still a need for human interpretation and expertise, but it needs to be coupled with a heavy understanding on how to manipulate and unpack larger/different sets of structured passive data.
  3. A return to the emphasis on a 1-to-1 line-of-sight with consumers. With the many concerns around data sources, fraud, quality, accuracy, privacy and so on, I believe there will be a renewed demand for highly-transparent and authentic sources of consumer opinion data.”

When it comes to the type of ad he thinks he’ll be targeted with next, Carl stated, “Probably some type of ‘healthy’ ice cream, because I was recently talking about that and I’m sure one of my devices heard me.”

Looking Ahead
What is Carl looking forward to most in the next 5 years? Self-driving cars. “Should be exciting!”

About DISQO Profiles
DISQO Profiles spotlight our talented DISQO team and provide a glimpse into their lives in and out of the office.

Opportunities at DISQO
Interested in learning more about what we do? Want to be a part of the team? Check out the open opportunities on our Careers page!

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