Hello World (again)

Aug 2, 2022 by Steve Hansen
A History of Grid Logic Digital Services

Grid Logic Digital Services builds on the legacy of Dakota Technology Group, Inc. (aka DTG), a company I started in 1998. When I began DTG, while I had some idea of the services the company would offer, I wasn't quite sure where the journey would take me from a service-offering perspective. Without a clear picture of the services or products the company would offer, you are probably not surprised to hear me say that I found branding and marketing difficult. At the time, I was concerned about revenue ASAP, and I didn't want to eliminate any potential sources of revenue. Also, I was young, impatient, and in a hurry to start a business. I am older and still impatient but like to think much wiser. ;)

Because of these issues swirling in my head then, I settled on a rather vague name for a company - Dakota Technology Group, Inc. (dakotatechgroup.com). Dakota was the name of my chocolate lab at the time, and "Technology Group" was about as close as I'd come to declaring what I was doing. With a background in finance and programming, I was primarily doing projects aimed at analytics and automation for corporate finance departments. Then (and arguably now), Microsoft Excel was the center of finance's technology world. DTG delivered projects using various combinations of Excel, VBA, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Analysis Services, and Oracle Essbase.

Around 2003, DTG had settled into a groove and become established. We were a small team of developers delivering analytical solutions and automation projects to corporate finance departments. I was also busy writing books. I co-authored Excel 2000 Premium Edition and wrote Excel 2003 Programming with VBA. At the time, Microsoft had just released some excellent Visual Studio tools, allowing you to automate Office apps using the .NET framework. These tools were officially called Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). Due to my contributions to the developer community, Microsoft eventually honored me with a Microsoft MVP award for the next five years for my work associated with VSTO.

As the business concept gelled during this time, it became clear that we needed better branding and marketing. When Excel 2007 became available as a preview and then beta, the Excel community was excited that the number of rows in a worksheet had significantly increased from 65,536 rows to 1,048,576 rows. Informally, this was called the "big grid." Hmm, I thought - big grid. Bam! That was it! Given the importance of Microsoft Excel to the business and our work, we would brand ourselves as Grid Logic! For the next eight years, we branded the company Grid Logic. Legally, we were Dakota Technology Group, Inc., doing business as (DBA) Grid Logic.

In late 2012 we encountered a slow down which I can only attribute to myself. After nearly 15 years of leading the company, I lost focus. I thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. A friend of mine from graduate school just landed a CFO job at a substantial public retailer. "Why can't I do that?" I thought. As fate would have it, a mutual friend introduced me to a Big Four advisory partner, and a few months later, I started working for a Big 4 firm. Grid Logic, DTG, and gradually my professional passion laid dormant for the next nine years.

Building off the spirit and success of Dakota Technology Group, Inc. (DBA as Grid Logic), I'm proud to launch Grid Logic Digital Services. Grid Logic picks up where DTG left off, embracing the same passion for analytics, automation, and collaboration while incorporating the wisdom gained over nearly a decade of providing consulting services to clients of a Big 4 firm.