Creating extraordinary technologies

Rochelle alumnus paving way in data analytics


A Rochelle Township High School alumnus is paving the way in data analytics by using new technology to create a better way for marketers to send out information to possible consumers.
Nicholas Ziech-Lopez completed his first two years of high school at Bolton High School in Memphis, Tennessee, before transferring to RTHS halfway through his sophomore year. He attended RTHS from 2006-08 and after graduation, he went to the University of Illinois, where he graduated in May 2012, to study chemical engineering.
After finishing college, Ziech-Lopez and a group of fellow engineers worked together on a YouTube channel titled “The Engineer Guy” and co-wrote a book titled “Eight Amazing Engineering Stories: Using the Elements to Create Extraordinary Technologies.” The book went on to become an Amazon best seller and the YouTube channel currently has over 1 million subscribers. It was during this time that Ziech-Lopez figured out what he enjoyed and didn’t enjoy in the engineering field.
“It was a ton of fun and through that experience as well as a couple of my internships, I learned that I didn’t really want to do traditional chemical engineering,” Ziech-Lopez said. “I didn’t think that was for me, so I decided to go into data analysis.”

Ziech-Lopez got his fist analytics job working for Capital One, where he worked for just under three years. He then moved to Atlanta, Georgia and joined a small data analytics startup company called Emcien. The company used information and graph theory to analyze large amounts of data and make predictions in the company.
Ziech-Lopez worked at Emcien for nearly two years and then left the company in 2017 for a position at another software startup company, MessageGears. He is now the director of product strategy for the company and is working on new and better ways for marketers to send out messages to possible customers.
“A lot of the stuff that marketers are doing is based on decades old technology that has been around since the early 1990s,” Ziech-Lopez said. “What we do is take a different approach to how people can better affectively service the customer. We use a handful of new technologies, as well as a completely different architecture and design pattern than many of the other companies, to quickly deliver what users want to use and not what we think they should have.”
MessageGears uses its technology to make it easier for companies to orchestrate, personalize and send those messages effectively to its consumers with less spam. Whether it be through email, short message service (SMS), or within a mobile application, big companies have lots of data and messages they want to send to their consumers.
The theory behind this strategy is to better catch the reader’s attention when the message is opened. Rather than sending one person an email every day of the week, this method would instead send that person one personalized email a week.  
“This method works in favor of both the company sending the message and the consumer receiving it,” Ziech-Lopez said. “Now, the reader only sees the messages they want and the brand isn’t wasting money sending out a bunch of messages the reader doesn’t care about and may not read.”
While Ziech-Lopez loves working with big companies and technology, the reason he got into this line of work is because he loves being a part of something that is growing. Through his time at the University of Illinois and working on the YouTube channel and book, he learned that the best feeling is having a part to play in building something that will be released out into the world. Ziech-Lopez is very appreciative for his time at RTHS and is looking forward to the next few years to come.
“Software and specifically data analysis and data access is where I want to be because it is that sweet spot between working with some incredibly complex technologies and explaining it to people in a way that makes sense,” Ziech-Lopez said.