He’s a level 27 Pokémon Goer, a former child movie actor, and an old-school hip-hop karaoke star—but if you ask Kevin Tye to describe himself, he’ll just smile sheepishly and say, “Aww, I’m really not that interesting."
Of course, when new friends inevitably discover that Kevin has his own IMDb page—which prominently lists his sole claim to silver-screen fame, the role of “nerdy kid” in the 1998 family feature film, “No More Baths”—they almost always ask him why he didn’t mention it sooner. “So now, whenever I meet someone new, I tell them about it right away,” he joked.
While he showed immense promise as a young actor, Kevin ultimately decided against pursuing a career in Hollywood. Instead, he spent most of his free time as a kid playing soccer. “I played year-round,” he said. But despite his great talent as a forward, his team was, in his words, “never really that good.” Still, the former high school team captain never lost his competitive spirit. In fact, he still plays midfield in a few local adult leagues.
As much as Kevin loves soccer, though, his real passion is data analysis. Growing up in Murray, Utah, Kevin always had a knack for numbers: “Math was my favorite subject,” he said. His natural aptitude for formulas and equations led him to pursue a degree in marketing, with an emphasis in market research. “I like seeing trends in the data and understanding the psychology behind it,” he said. While many sales and marketing professionals tend to rely on anecdotes and gut feelings about their prospects, Kevin prefers to back up those assumptions with cold, hard facts: “When somebody says, ‘This is what our customers like, this is what our customers do, or this is what our customers want,’ that doesn’t compute for me unless there’s data behind it,” he said. “I like the truth that comes from the numbers; that’s where the real story is.”
After graduating from Utah State University, Kevin took his data-crunching skills to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked as a market research analyst for a farm equipment company. And if you think there’s anything simple about selling tractors, think again. “It’s such an intricate field,” Kevin said. “There’s so much that you need to know—so many different pieces of equipment. There was a huge learning curve.” In that role, though, he got to do some pretty interesting things—like attend farming conferences and run farmer focus groups. He even helped create a predictive analytics model for when a farmer will purchase a new tractor. “We could find out how soon [a customer] would buy within a four-month window,” he said.
Ultimately, though, Kevin decided he wasn’t cut out for life in the Peach State. “I wanted to get back to the West, but I liked the warmer weather,” he said. “And I had a sister living in Peoria [Arizona] at the time, so I thought, ‘Why not Arizona?’” He ended up accepting a job at a sales and marketing software company in the Phoenix area, and after bouncing around a bit there, he stumbled upon a job posting for a data analyst at WebPT. “Everything on the job description was what I wanted to do—and it was at a fun tech company!” he said.
In that position—which has since evolved into a product data development analyst role—Kevin supports the data analysis needs of WebPT’s marketing, sales, and product departments. On top of that, over the last several months, Kevin has spearheaded one of the biggest data projects in company history: WebPT’s first-ever state of the industry report. That involved surveying more than 5,000 rehab therapy professionals to get a pulse on their challenges, motivations, business success, and technology needs. (Look for a full report on the WebPT Blog in the coming weeks!)
For most people, the idea of distilling—and making sense of—such a massive amount of information probably doesn’t seem too appealing. For Kevin, though, it’s a dream come true—really. “I have always wanted to do some type of annual survey...and now I’m doing it!” he said with a smile. And while he can understand and appreciate most folks’ aversion to Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables, he also knows data is crucial to business success—especially in the private practice rehab therapy space. “If you’re passionate about therapy—and you want to be able to help more people, longer—then you have to know [how your business is doing],” he said. “And it doesn’t have to be hard. There are a lot of tools out there to help, but it’s important to make the time to do it.”
When Kevin isn’t geeking out over data or tearing up the soccer field, he enjoys running (especially when it involves catching or hatching Pokémon), volunteering with his church, and experimenting in the kitchen. “I like to cook, but I’m kind of a fake cook,” he said, adding that even though not every one of his creations is five-star restaurant material, he makes a pretty mean orange pork dish. He also likes to dance—with the right music, of course. “If a Michael Jackson song comes on, I will dance no matter what,” he said. “It’s very hard not to bust a move.”
And despite his tendency to downplay his coolness, I think most people would agree that any data nerd who isn’t afraid to have a spontaneous solo dance party—anywhere, anytime—is pretty dang awesome.
Fave Five with Kevin
- Favorite food: Bread
- Favorite movie: Star Wars
- Favorite sports team: Arsenal F.C.
- Favorite band: Cartel
- Favorite place: Disneyland