Steve Wood, Founder/Chief Executive Officer
ATLAS is the brainchild of company founder Steve Wood. The son of a nurse and a PhD nuclear engineer, Mr. Wood was raised in an extensively scientific environment. Having grown up in the same building as the nuclear engineering consulting firm run by his father he was regularly exposed to a small business setting which placed a heavy emphasis on data, technology and a high degree of accuracy as well as precision in one's work.
Mr. Wood holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Following the completion of his terminal degree at the peak of the Great Recession in 2009, Mr. Wood relocated to Washington DC for an internship in the fundraising department at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and was hired on full-time a few months later, whereupon he set out overhauling the organization’s existing data management practices. After implementing new systems, soliciting contributions between $1,000-$10,000 and synchronizing multiple department's data systems, Mr. Wood left the organization to pursue other ventures.
At this time, Mr. Wood founded Directed Electromagnetic Technologies for the purpose of designing and building consumer laser products. Funded by a small $2,000 loan this business was profitable within a few months, generating sales on a worldwide basis. While profitable, the income from this business was insufficient to both grow the business and sustain Mr. Wood’s household, and so he took a position as a research analyst at the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (now Child Care Aware® of America) in early 2012. Here Mr. Wood oversaw the custom database used by the research department, designing and implementing numerous additional functions to reduce much of the department’s data analytics to a one-click process. He co-authored numerous widely-cited publications which reported groundbreaking research being done within the organization, of which he was an integral part, and was the lead on a contract from the State of Maine to survey every child care provider in that state.
After two years of service as a full time employee a new opportunity arose in the tech industry which took Mr. Wood and his family to Utah. That firm, which was designing and building a management solution for child care centers, was acquired by Care.com later that year; Mr. Wood then transitioned to a managerial role in the Office of Admissions for Utah Valley University, although he has remained a consultant for Child Care Aware® of America’s research efforts.
Mr. Wood began working on the idea behind ATLAS in late 2014 shortly before accepting his position at Utah Valley University and now works on this project full-time. His book Data in Decline, published October 2018, breaks down many of the problems associated with the social sciences, particularly as it pertains to survey research and public opinion polling, then details how these issues can be overcome, which he aims to achieve with ATLAS.