Meet Jen Dent, Ph.D. – Founder of Jaybird Analytics

I started Jaybird Analytics in 2018 with a mission to provide non-profit organizations the same world class data and analytic services historically reserved only for large, for-profit corporations. It represents the culmination of a long personal and professional journey that began over 20 years ago.

Jen Dent, founder of Jaybird Analytics

The Jaybird Story

As a child, I grew up all over the world. My father was a Foreign Service Officer whose job took him someplace new every two to four years. Although there were lots of positives to this lifestyle, there was a substantial negative, namely the loss of a sense of community every time we moved. In these pre-Internet years, all my friends, teachers, and neighbors completely disappeared from my life every few years. As I got older, the one thing I wanted more than anything was simply to stay in one place, preferably forever.

When I moved to San Diego in 2005, I realized San Diego was that place. I started to put down roots, both professionally and personally, and over the years, I started to experience what being part of a community was all about. The connections I formed with my neighbors and colleagues, the friendships I developed, the sense that my fate was somehow intertwined with the people around me all gave me a sense of stability and community that I had never felt before, and I loved it! 

Unfortunately, my professional life was less good. While I've always loved statistical analysis and modeling, overtime I grew increasingly disenchanted with the corporate world and my role in it. I found the analytic work challenging and intellectually engaging, but ultimately unsatisfying. At the end of the day, when I would ask myself “what did I do today to advance society and the lives of the people around me?” the answer was always “nothing.”

As time passed, I realized I was wasting my talents at jobs that had no social or personal value.

I knew I needed to make some major changes to my professional life, but I didn’t know what that looked like. When I started to think about what would satisfy me professionally, I quickly realized the answer was all around me. I felt a strong desire to give back to the San Diego community and help it grow and thrive, just as it helped me do the same. I looked around and saw countless non-profit organizations dedicated to this same mission, and I knew that was how I could make an impact.

Jen giving a data analytics presentationIn 2018, I started Jaybird Analytics. My mission is to provide non-profit organizations the same world class data and analytic services historically reserved only for large, for-profit corporations. I’m excited to take the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired and apply it to nonprofit organizations to help them advance their missions. Analyzing data is good, but analyzing data for the benefit of others is even better!

In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with senior rescue dogs, riding motorcycles with the San Diego chapter of Women in the Wind, and being outdoors.  I volunteer for Voices for Children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster children and serve on the board of Warriors Live On, an organization that provides an integrative healing process for post 9/11 combat veterans who are battling PTSD issues.

In the press

Check out Jen’s interview with HeraHub founder Felena Hansen to hear Jen talk about her entrepreneurial journey from corporate data scientist to nonprofit analytics guru and why data is so important to nonprofits.

Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2002
  • Decision Science Manager I at Encore Capital Group, September 2007 to August 2009
  • Lead/Analytic Scientist II at FICO, March 2010 to September 2015
  • Principal Data Scientist at CoreLogic, April 2016 to September 2018
  • Board Member for Warriors Live On, January 2019 to present