Civis Analytics Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Civis Analytics Reviews

Updated Sep 23, 2019

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3.2
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
51%
Recommend to a Friend
37%
Approve of CEO
Civis Analytics CEO Dan Wagner (no image)
Dan Wagner
35 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Start-ups give room for growth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time

    Pros

    Like any start up, Civis is growing and changing every day. The company allows room for creativity that bubbles up from the bottom. That makes it a place where you can stretch yourself and take on bigger challenges than you would be able to at an established corporation. Civis leadership has a demonstrated willingness to move out leaders and managers who don't fit company values of treating others with respect.... Really excellent work life balance, particularly for junior team members. Unbeatable in this industry.

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    Cons

    Start ups aren't for everyone. Change is frequent and instability is part of the package. Civis is at an awkward stage where it's not a tiny start up giving everybody a lot of equity. It's also not an established company that can afford to pay out the nose in salaries. In my opinion, the work life balance (e.g., the majority of employees work 40 hours a week) and relaxed culture makes up for this, but not... everybody wants to make that trade off.

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    Advice to Management

    Make sure you listen to all members of your management team, not just the ones who were with Civis on day one. The company is growing and changing, bringing new challenges. The old guard don't have personal experiences to inform all the challenges you now face. That's ok. You've hired managers and directors with more varied backgrounds. Make sure you listen to them and take their input seriously.

    Civis Analytics2019-09-23
  2. Helpful (4)

    "Tons of potential, smartest people I've worked with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Lead in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Hands down, Civis has some of the smartest employees out there -- and not only intelligent, but also passionate about social good and highly engaged in their communities. I genuinely like the people I work with. The work Civis does for clients is highly impactful, which is clear from the number of long-term accounts the company has. There are many companies out there that claim to do “data science,” but Civis is... the real deal. There is a lot of opportunity in this space, and Civis has amazing potential. Projects are exciting and meaningful, particularly compared to other places I have worked. Self-starters will do well here.

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    Cons

    Civis is a start up, with many of the same issues you typically see at a start up: disorganization, poor internal communication, lack of formal training and development. Changes in management, but not necessarily all bad changes.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time listening to your employees, many have good ideas and want to help. Improve communication of company decisions.

    Civis Analytics2019-09-18
  3. Helpful (5)

    "supportive and exciting place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Statistician in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people on our team are incredible. So kind, brilliant, and fun.

    Cons

    I don't love working in a WeWork.

    Civis Analytics2019-09-06

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019Director

    Thank you for your review! We agree that our people are our biggest asset here at Civis and we love hearing this feedback from you as well.

  4. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Applied Data Science Lead 

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good learning environment Collaborative colleagues across departments Social mission Diversity of projects Good work life balance

    Cons

    Low pay compared to market Lots of churn among leadership

    Civis Analytics2019-09-08

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019CEO

    Thank you for sharing this review. We pride ourselves on providing a space for innovation and creative problem solving here at Civis. We want to stay true to our mission-driven roots and create a collaborative environment for everyone to do great work across the company. We are excited to continue supporting your development and thank you for being part of the team.

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  5. Helpful (13)

    "CEO makes bad moves, alienates employees, company suffers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Civis Analytics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Wickedly intelligent coworkers - Technically capable engineering management - Tool and (usually) process freedom - Office location downtown is hard to beat - Reasonable benefits

    Cons

    As I recently talked to coworkers and even some of the management, it is clear that most the the problems other reviewers are describing are coming from repeated lack of direction and ego at the top. I've heard of and seen the CEO push all of his problems and the resulting initiatives onto the Director, VP, or other middle management layers, and then constantly get in their way. Then, evidenced by recent firings... in May and July, blame them when it does not work out. He literally said "control alt delete them" as a good thing when referring to wiping out the majority of sales and marketing staff. I was told by multiple people that the management under him at the department levels and even some of the senior management team didn't even know he was going to do this until the Sunday or Monday before it was happening. My co-workers in execution roles attempt success in spite of this, and I saw a lot of very hard work in the engineering department and other associated depts. On reflection, it seems obvious to me now that the company very much does not have even an idea of direction; and when one is "announced" it changes in 2 or 3 months. Departments are expected to move their direction along with it and put out crazy amounts of effort in doing so, then to be told they're going to try something else or be blamed for it not working out. There is no platform of support from the very top. All of the issues I saw there that a bunch of really good people from all levels, from entry level engineer to department lead left because of, seem to stem from top leadership's ability to align, trust lieutenants, or take responsibility. Also, the pay is not market and the company principles were rewritten (but not followed) entirely away from what the employees had wanted and to what the CEO wanted.

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    Advice to Management

    Find a direction and stick to it. Listen to those doing the work. Replace the CEO or get him significant training and help, possibly others at his level.

    Civis Analytics2019-08-05

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019CEO

    I appreciate your candor and recognize the difficulty that comes with changes at a growth-stage company. As you noted, the way these changes were communicated could be improved -- I take full responsibility for that and am working to do better in the future. The people at Civis are indeed “wickedly intelligent,” and, like many other startup CEOs, I try to strike a balance between giving them freedom to do their jobs and the guidance needed to succeed. We did go through some growing pains. But we are creating alignment and focus across the company and empowering our managers to take us forward. I have faith and trust in our management team, as I know many of our staff do as well. I am committed to giving them the room and support to grow Civis.

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  6. Helpful (12)

    "Temporary Data Science training ground only...."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Management 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Civis Analytics full-time

    Pros

    Hires some of the brightest minds and asks them to think creatively about problems. Great place to earn little money, but get bigger problems earlier in your career.

    Cons

    No prospects for someone with more than 3-5 years experience....The CEO and CFO have NO IDEA what a real business is, looks or smells like, or is even making the right moves to become one eventually.

    Advice to Management

    Become a non-profit; stop wasting energy on trying to be something that you cannot.

    Civis Analytics2019-07-31

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019CEO

    I appreciate the candid review and am sorry to hear that our career paths were not communicated as well as we hoped. We are working on developing clearer career trajectories as we scale and grow as a company. We are also implementing better training for new managers and establishing consistent best practices. As with any startup, we are continually trying new things and working to improve every day.

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  7. Helpful (8)

    "Great place to work - it's why I returned!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Manager in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Civis is an inclusive environment that gives employees an opportunity to learn, enhance their skills, and bring creative ideas to solving challenges. While I left Civis temporarily to pursue a passion project, I've since returned because it's a great place to work. The culture of the organization is very supportive, fun, and weird (in a good way), and the structure of the organization allows me to consistently learn... from coworkers about how they bring their skills to achieving our clients' objectives. Being on the Sales team allows me the opportunity to interact with Civis's subject matter experts constantly - I learn every day, get to work with some of the smartest people in the industry, and help our clients achieve their goals.

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    Cons

    I love it here - if I didn't, I wouldn't have returned after pursuing a personal passion project.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to encourage staff to think outside the box and never accept the status quo. It's truly why I love it here, and what continues to keep me (and other staff) engaged and motivated. The management at Civis is incredibly smart and encouraging to its staff.

    Civis Analytics2019-06-28

    Civis Analytics Response

    September 23, 2019Director

    We are so happy to have you back! Thank you for writing this review. We recognize that having a passion outside of work is important for growth and we encourage all of our employees to pursue the things that they love.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Company in a tailspin with no one to pull it out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Civis Analytics full-time

    Pros

    Civis has some very smart, compassionate people working there. They work with some great candidates and non-profits, and I truly believe they have their heart in the right place. The office is above average and they plan a lot of social good projects. They make an honest attempt at diversity and inclusion but need to do more to show they're serious.

    Cons

    The company tried to make a jump from a managed service company to a SaaS company with very little planning. They never built products for the marketplace, rather they played it safe and built products for specific clients. They ended up with a suite of products with a very narrow focus and no practical application in the marketplace. When they realized this, they cut many employees involved in the sales, support,... and marketing of the product. Some of these employees were hired away from great jobs only weeks or months prior. Employees continue to leave at a rapid pace, and management doesn't really know how to fix it. Plenty of other reviews point out the shortcomings of the CEO, and all I can do is echo them. I have seen him humilate employees in a very public setting, which is more embarrassing for him than anything. I think he would make a great Chief Product Officer, as he knows the space, but doesn't seem to have the humility to step down. I hope they right the ship in a big way, as Chicago needs great tech companies and I do believe Civis has the right mission at heart.

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    Advice to Management

    Listen to all your employees, especially those that don't look like you, that aren't data scientists. Some of us/them might have some relevant experience outside of yours.

    Civis Analytics2019-08-12

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019CEO

    Thank you for this review. I appreciate the feedback, take responsibility for my decisions, and am working on improving my own communication. Our mission is important to guiding our direction. Feedback from our employees is also important, and we will continue to gather internal survey data and create more channels for employees to be heard. Our diverse team is our greatest strength, and we want to create a place where everyone is supported, valued and empowered to succeed.

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  9. Helpful (7)

    "Wasted Potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Technical Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Civis Analytics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people are incredible. Top-tier talent and passionate about making the world a better place. Honest, caring, and, driven. I hope to work with these people for years.

    Cons

    Lack of strategic direction, ego, and general incompetence at the highest levels of the company lead to a day-to-day that feels rudderless and risky. Critical work slips through the cracks and great individual contributors end up shouldering the burden of their managers' mistakes. Then they leave and we let them walk. We're doing too many things at once and get distracted by whims of execs and large prospects. Day... to day, things are a mess,

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    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the top executives. Get more funding to give us freedom to take measured risks and build the right products purposefully. Enumerate a strategy and line up resources against it. Execute with confidence on product strategy and be data driven about evaluating outcomes. Recognize, promote, and trust your best people; they are why Civis hasn't failed yet.

    Civis Analytics2019-08-11

    Civis Analytics Response

    October 16, 2019Director

    Thank you for your review. We understand the perceived lack of direction, and recognize the need to better communicate our organization’s north star. We are working hard to correct this. We’re making positive changes, and are committed to communicating all of this very transparently company-wide. We understand where change is needed for the incredible team members here at Civis to know that they are valued, heard, and that we do take action based on their feedback.

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  10. Helpful (15)

    "Great people, terrible management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Civis Analytics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I worked with some of the best and brightest young people, who truly cared about the work we were doing. The mission is great, but management doesn't exemplify it at all. Still, I loved coming to work every day, but my colleagues were frustrated and exhausted.

    Cons

    - Revolving door with terrible retention -- causing chaos, repeated work and mistakes, loss of institutional knowledge. I was exhausted every day. - Little to no direction from management, and constantly shifting priorities. - Salaries are low, and they make you beg for a raise. (And only give them out twice a year, which means rewards are extremely delayed.) - HR as an organization is unapproachable, with no... appetite for change or innovation. They make so many excuses for retention without looking within. - They recently laid off most of sales and marketing (this was after I left). This is not a healthy company. - All of these issues were raised in multiple forums with multiple stakeholders, with no movement in the time I was there (or, it appears, since I left).

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    Advice to Management

    If Civis were its own client, it would have figured out what was up with retention already. Instead, management keeps making excuses. Management loves to brag about being honest to clients "even when it hurts", but Civis is not being honest with themselves about what is wrong with his company.

    Civis Analytics2019-06-24

    Civis Analytics Response

    July 15, 2019Director

    Thank you for this feedback. As we evaluate our sales strategy, we are also taking a close look at our culture. We know teams that are collaborative, meaningfully challenged, engaged, and passionate about their work are what make companies truly great. We are very grateful to have amazing employees who really care about cultivating a great culture here at Civis. We have a few new initiatives underway to ensure our commitment, including an employee-driven Diversity, Equity and Inclusion working group and Civis for Good pro bono work. We recognize the need to focus on improving our company culture is as critical as honing our business direction. With our fast-paced environment, we are constantly working to be better. Thank you again for your candid feedback.

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Found 42 reviews