BuildFax provides business-critical property condition and history data to the largest insurance and financial institutions in the world. Based in Austin, Texas, the company delivers detailed data on remodeling, solar installations, major systems, new construction, maintenance history, and more. Their one-of-a-kind database encompasses over 84 billion data points on commercial and residential structures. In 2019, BuildFax was acquired by Verisk—a leading data analytics provider in the US.
Partnership with STX Next:
since January 2019 (11 months)
BuildFax emerged after the housing crisis of 2007, when buyers became interested in property value estimation done the right way. Back when BuildFax launched operations, big data was just a nascent concept. The business applications of big data were only being discovered, and the number of sources to obtain data from was significantly smaller. It’s all changed now. These days, we have so many data sources that conventional methods of their processing have become inefficient. BuildFax had to switch from traditional databases to working with big data in a modern way. STX Next helped them smooth the transition.
STX NEXT DELIVERED
In order to transform the way they processed their data, BuildFax needed trustworthy, reliable developers. They also required the flexibility to scale up and down according to their development needs.
BuildFax first tried hiring people in-house, but couldn’t find the right skills on the market, so they decided to go looking for external resources instead. That was when STX Next came into play.
The technology BuildFax was using had become so inefficient that the speed of receiving data was sometimes taking up to four times longer than the maximum time business logic allowed. Our goal was to provide BuildFax with modern tools for handling big data.
The migration of huge data sets and the algorithms necessary to process them had to be imperceptible to the end user. BuildFax’s clients were only supposed to notice that the data was more up to date and available faster.
Our solution to BuildFax’s challenge was using the Spark technology; or, more specifically, its Python implementation: the PySpark and Databricks tools.
To accomplish this, STX Next provided a team of three developers whose task was supporting the BuildFax team throughout that difficult and trying process.
The cooperation was a true partnership and our teams grew together, picking up the necessary skills along the way.
BuildFax were very happy with our services and expanded their team as time went by, most notably with 24/7 maintenance and monitoring.
STX Next’s development efforts have been so successful that the contract is likely to be extended, and the DevOps resources are incredibly proactive and communicative. The firm features an effective onboarding process and an agreeable project management approach, creating a seamless engagement.
Big data is becoming more and more popular, but finding a project that works with large data sets isn’t so easy. BuildFax is a company where you can simultaneously work on a set of data containing millions of records and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere among the company’s employees—all of whom boast vast expertise they’re happy to share. Working for BuildFax was a highly rewarding experience for me.