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Dynamite Data moving to downtown Chicago

Updated: November 30, 2012 6:18AM

A technology company co-founded by a Hawthorne Woods native who hacked into his high school’s computer network has expanded and moved its network operations to downtown Chicago from Arlington Heights.

The move lets the company, Dynamite Data, realize a 50-percent savings in the cost of bandwidth it needs to chew through 30 million product pages that 3,000 merchants worldwide post online each day.

Kristopher Kubicki, 29, who got expelled in 1999 from Lake Zurich High School after he and fellow students hacked into the school’s computer system, created the software that tracks the pricing data. The hacker group now forms the core technology team at Dynamite Data.

“We are absolutely ‘big data,’ ” said Kubicki of the company, which employs 10 engineers in the Chicago area and sells to companies worldwide with a combined $100 billion in yearly revenues.

The company is “always” hiring engineers locally, primarily senior developers, data architects and data visualization experts, said Kubicki, who declined to disclose how many positions are open.

Dynamite Data spits out in real time the results of price changes on everything from TV sets to toys to grocery coupons, as well as product reviews and out-of-stocks.

The brick-and-mortar retailers who pay for the information change their prices or take other steps to stay competitive with their online rivals. They aim to stop showrooming — shoppers comparing prices on their mobile devices inside stores and then walking out to order the goods cheaper online.

Abt Electronics, the Glenview-based electronics and hardware retailer, uses the data to stay a step ahead.

CEO Jon Abt said the data has enabled him to keep customers happy and meet business goals.

Dynamite Data’s operations center is housed in the Marquette Building at 140 S. Dearborn, and gets its Internet connectivity through the world’s largest data center in the former R.R. Donnelley printing press site at 350 E. Cermak.

CEO Diana Schulz said cheap bandwidth is important because companies like Dynamite Data saw the amount of data generated online double in the past year.

“We expect it to triple next year,” she said.

Kubicki, the chief data architect at the company, said, “There is no place cheaper in the world than downtown Chicago for bandwidth because of the enormous competition among data centers.”

Dynamite Data increased by 50 percent its power consumption by moving to Chicago, enabling the company to put more computers with more processors in the same space.

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