Contemporary Analysis (CAN)--A new president of CAN was announced earlier this month. Nate Watson, long time employee, Sr. Project Manager, and Head of Sales will take over for Grant Stanley, in early June. Grant said the lead change was a long time coming, “I am staying on as the Chairman of the Board so I can provide vision and strategy, but I am relinquishing the day-to-day operations to Nate.”
This change comes as Grant takes over as CEO of a new startup, Yield. Yield provides a tool for design and marketing companies to better project staff capacity for a given scope of work. It allows management to know how much work a designer has left and alerts the manager to when the designer is running out of work. Yield and CAN will remain close as the two are set to do work for each other for the rest of the year. “It will be a great predictive project for CAN”, says president-elect Nate, “Yield gets the leadership of Grant, we (CAN) gets to keep the strategist and visionary our company is known for, and we (CAN) get to build predictive analytics into a new product slated to change a whole vertical.”
Nate has been steadily taking on more and more of the operations since mid-2014 when he began managing the projects he was selling. It was an important step for the company because it no longer meant there was a drop off in knowledge between setting up the project, and the implementation of the project. “We will operate like we always have. We will help companies use their data to understand and get a better handle on how to make decisions faster. When you let data do some of the heavy lifting, it's amazing some of the insights a leader can get. They still have to make the final decision, but predictive analytics gives them access to relevant data to make decisions in seconds instead of spending hours combing through a pile of reports.”
Nate also brings new energy and ideas to the business. After adding political campaigns to CAN’s capabilities in 2014, Nate managed 2 governor campaigns, 2 local campaigns, and 2 bond issues. In fact, politics became 33% of the total business CAN secured in 2014. “We faired pretty well getting 3 of 6 through the primary and going 3 for 3 in the general.” In fact, CAN predicted the turnout of the primary election to within .27% or 876 votes out of 324,227, and the final vote count to within 2.8% or 1,577 out of 56,324--all 3 weeks before the election. These numbers catapulted them into the spotlight for regional and national campaigns and many took notice. To date this year, CAN has taken on a Governor campaign, two ballot initiatives, and looking to add a presidential candidate later this year.
CAN is working on a number of new ideas as well. Later this year, they are going to release their first piece of software. CAN's analytical software is designed to help non-mathematical leadership interact with and learn from their data without the need to employ data scientists and includes the ability to run scenarios on live data. This will accelerate political buy-in and implementation time of analytics into a company. Their software will give CAN an entirely new revenue stream and will allow CAN to sell to much smaller companies. “We are hoping this product allows all companies to use their data to create better marketing, sales, customer retention, HR, and forecasts,” says Nate. The system is slated to come out in the fall.
CAN is also being asked to develop auditing capabilities as well as a predictive analytics and a data science recruitment arm. “Finding, hiring, and training data scientists is a real problem for companies. The lack of data scientists is the bottleneck we think we can solve. We understand how to attract and vet data scientists better than traditional HR and hope we can partner with companies to lend them our knowledge."
With these new ideas and growth, CAN is also going to need more staff. Currently open are positions for two new data scientists and a sales person. “We are looking for those individuals who are gritty, and can solve a problem when the solution isn't easily found. This goes for both data scientists and salespeople.” “After all,” says Nate “finding solutions to problems--really hard problems--is how CAN has been known for the last 8 years.”