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David Fussichen is the CEO of Analytics8, a data and analytics consulting company that empowers executives with the information they need to make good decisions fast. He founded the American arm of the company in 2005 and has since been focused on building it domestically and internationally. 

Before Analytics8, David had worked as a Practice Manager at Business Objects and a consultant at MicroStrategy. When he is not working, he spends his weekends building something or doing an activity with my family.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • David Fussichen talks about what they do at Analytics8.
  • The need for the right data and analytics within companies 
  • Business lessons David took from working at MicroStrategy and SAP.
  • How Analytics8 helps Driven Brands with their data needs
  • David shares how his company has evolved since 2005
  • Analytics8 strategy of expanding by acquisitions:
  • Upholding culture through company summit

In this episode…

HR analytics is crucial for companies as they grapple with how to attract, retain, and maximize their team. Another pain point is supply chain analytics as businesses want to know when their shipment will be late and what they can do about it. 

David Fussichen has been at the forefront of data and analytics issues and was gracious to share his story on this episode of the podcast. So is your business generating data you can’t interpret, or are you looking to revive your old systems and grow your company?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz and the CEO of Analytics8, David Fussichen. They discuss how David grew Analytics8 from scratch, the data and analytics that companies have, what it is like growing a consulting business, and much more.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have here David Fussichen and I’m going to introduce Dave in a second of analytics each day. I always like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast and I was talking to my friend Chad Rubin who started and sold ecommerce software companies Skubana, his next company is working on his prophecy. And we’re talking his his interview is on the podcast but we were talking about he was working on a webinar for his company and I basically said hey, I just actually interviewed a webinar expert Joel Erway told them to check that episode out. And I also had Chris Madden, who is co founder of match node, which is an agency he talked all about what their companies doing in the NFT space called sebum because I know nothing about NF T’s and so I got I made him give me a masterclass in the audience a masterclass on how should companies or could they be using NF T’s in their business. So that was a really great learning experience. So check that episode out. This episode is brought to buy Rise25 and a Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships? And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a business to launch and run a podcast. You know, Dave and I have known each other for a little while now. And and Dave, hopefully gathered for me like the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to do that over the past decade than a profile the people and the companies I most admire on this planet and feature him on my podcast. So if you thought about it, you know you should. If you have questions, you go to and email us we’re happy to answer anything we’ve been podcasting for over a decade now. So we try and leave no stone unturned for someone. So feel free to email us. I’m excited I have David Fussichen is founded Analytics8 in the US in 2005. Analytics 8 empowers executives with information they need to make good decisions fast. So you can check them out at Analytics8, the number David is partner sold the Australian division of the business to Accenture in 2019. And Analytics8 continues to really run in the US and UK and Europe with the same mission that they started with which is unleashing the power of data for the organizations that hire them. So, David, thanks for joining me.

David Fussichen 2:57

Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Weisz 2:58

So tell me a little bit about we’ll get into detail. Tell us about analytics aid and what you do.

David Fussichen 3:06

Well, we’re a data and analytics consulting company, I think it’s pretty cool that we’re called analytics aid in the name analytics of the word analytics that’s in our in our, in our name, and it’s been there for about 20 years before people were talking about it. But just like you said, we help we help companies make better decisions with data. So we have like kind of three areas and that’ll kind of maybe ground it’s we have a strategy, service lines, but it’s kind of it’s a business strategy. Where are you today? Where do you want to go into the future? And what data do you need to do it? And what what systems you need? Or what people do you need around around that data, right. And we, we used to have to do a whole lot of education about why that’s important. But we don’t really so much anymore, I don’t think you know, I think most folks in business know how important data is for their future and that companies that use data in a smart way are going to win and know that don’t, are not going to win. And so we want we work with companies to help them you know, help them achieve their goals and their mission and be the company in the organization that they want to be. So that strategy piece is kind of the first one. And that’s the the next piece or the next service line is the we call it the data management service on but that’s all the infrastructure the behind the scenes stuff, the big data, nobody says big data anymore, but it’s the all the systems and the and how to manage and secure and, and make sure you get access to me in all the data that you need to make those decisions for whatever systems internal external that you have. And then the third service on is the analytic service line. So that’s the actual you know, what kind of, you know, what kind of reports what kind of what kind of dashboards and what kind of apps and what kind of questions do you have, you know, whether it’s whether it’s like sales report from last month or whether it’s a really advanced machine learning model, whatever it is That’s kind of the analytic service, and then that feeds back into your to your strategy. So we help companies kind of, you know, like I said, advance their mission, through the use of data, we help we help them transform themselves to be better,

Jeremy Weisz 5:15

who are ideal companies to work with you. So,

David Fussichen 5:19

we have, we talked about our ideal customer profile. And for us Do you really, really like working with customers that are kind of at the top end of the mid market. So we like working with anybody who has significant data needs that we find that we match up really well with, with companies that are maybe a billion dollar companies, maybe $5 billion companies, 3000 5000, maybe 10,000 employees, because we really have the scale to work with companies like that, and they have significant needs, but they’re not so big that we can’t be their strategic partner. So we have some very, very big clients, you know, fortune 500, fortune 100 by Fortune 50 customers, but we’re, you know, even though we’re not insisting on substantial, you know, those companies are typically at the top level is going to be working with the company, like it makes sense or, or Deloitte or something like that. And that can bring, you know, hundreds of hundreds of consultants to bear right, we can bring dozens to bear if we need to. So we really liked those those, you know, that size, and we really don’t have a specialization in a particular industry. But we do have expertise. And we do a lot of manufacturing, we do a lot of a lot of pharmaceutical, a lot of retail, but kind of around the really is we don’t discriminate necessarily based on what industry anybody is in.

Jeremy Weisz 6:43

Tell me about, you know, what are the problems people are coming to you with? I’m sure they’re not like, Dave, we need more analytics, I’m sure they have some kind of issue that they need to solve, what are some issues that they come to you? They we need help? Yeah,

David Fussichen 6:57

so sometimes it is just analytics, right? Sometimes they our systems are so old and broken, we can’t do anything. Right. And so there is a there’s a good deal of a more strictly it type work. But but it is more often than not, there are some business challenges. So a lot of is around m&a around integrating systems. But what they’re actually trying to do, there’s there’s several areas, a big one, really last couple years is HR analytics, how do I find how to retain? How do I train? How do I how do I maximize the team that I have? And we do that for some some very large company, we’re going to mention names like Exxon, for example, we, we help build a system to help them do that part of it. There’s a lot of a lot of just kind of bread and butter sales, marketing analytics better understand our customers better understand which products are selling, you know, where are they selling? We do a lot of financial analytics, helping companies do to do modeling and understand kind of the trends and and where, where they can best deploy capital to to make the best decisions they possibly can. And then we do probably the one where I think we probably have the most expertise in supply chain analytics. So that’s a humongous issue. Now

Jeremy Weisz 8:25

that’s exploded even more in COVID. Yeah. Oh,

David Fussichen 8:29

yeah. So so how do I how do I make my supply chains more robust? And how do I how do I, you know, how do I predict, you know, when shipments are going to be late? What are we going to do about that? What impact is it going to have to my business, if I can’t get buy parts here, I can’t get my products out to my customers or into the channel. There’s a lot of companies now that are that are building new supply chains, as opposed to a lot of companies are doing more direct selling to customers is posted through, you know, through a third party. So there’s a lot of a lot of work that a lot of companies are doing around that. And the analytics and the data infrastructure to do that. That’s what that’s what we help them with.

Jeremy Weisz 9:11

For the sales and marketing side. And maybe other things, are you because I’m sure that companies are all using different types of software to currently pull data and things like that. Are you pretty software agnostic? Are there certain software’s you like to work with, with the you know, the companies coming with all different types of I’m sure software solutions that you’re using?

David Fussichen 9:32

Sure. So there’s once you get to a certain size of company, there’s a I mean, there’s probably dozens of or of really significant sources in the SAP and Salesforce and then systems like this, that counting stuff, some CRM systems that a lot of data is coming from is data coming from the internet, you know, from from Google and so on from from understanding web traffic. because that and that sort of thing. But once it kind of gets into the, into the kind of a data ecosystem where we are agnostic, but we are not experts in everything right, but we so we work with some of the some of the big players, I like to tell, you know, we had an incoming group of, of employees. So I was telling him about the, the cloud vendors, right. So they’re like, the suns that everything revolves around. So we work equally well with Microsoft, or Google or Amazon, right, and everything works. Everybody, 95% plus of our clients are on the cloud or moving to the cloud. And then there’s other software around that will have snowflake and data bricks and dB to kind of on the, I’m sorry, DBT. On the back end, are those the ones that come up all the time, on the front end will work with tools like click and Tableau, Microsoft Power BI Looker,

Jeremy Weisz 10:55

you’ve probably seeing a little bit of everything.

David Fussichen 10:57

Yeah, there’s a we’ve seen, we’ve seen it all. And that’s one of the things we’d like to talk to our customers about is we have a slide up, it’s got like 1000 logos on it. It’s like all these data, data, software that they could be using. And it just says in the middle, we help you cut through the noise, right? Everybody thinks that their software is a silver bullet, it probably isn’t. But maybe maybe plays a role. So we help companies kind of sort through that and, and make good decisions about what what they’re spending money on from a software perspective.

Jeremy Weisz 11:26

And you’re intimately familiar. I mean, you worked at with SAP for for three years, I’d love to hear any lessons you learned whether at MicroStrategy, which you worked, and also SAP.

David Fussichen 11:41

So I worked with business objects, which was acquired by SAP for some reason, LinkedIn will put a bit of business objects. So now we’re prior to two software vendors that I learned a ton. Those are great, great companies to work for and work with. The question is, like, what what lessons I learned there

Jeremy Weisz 12:01

any lessons you learn from early on in your business career before starting Analytics as

David Fussichen 12:07

well, here’s something I don’t know, I always tell people. But when I started my career in consulting, I was really excited to love consulting. But I was really excited about consulting, my plan was generally to go work with a bunch of great costs companies, and like learn really awesome stuff that they’re doing, and maybe pick one and kind of go into into that area. Well, I have, well, it has been much more my experience that clients or companies out there are not doing terribly awesome stuff, right. There’s a lot of a lot of a lot of just basics, you know, so you hear out in the news, and you see like, oh, you know, this really advanced stuff, and there’s advanced stuff going on, for sure. But most company, that’s the basics that they need. So it’s, you know, and maybe I’m a little bit dated here, because I haven’t been out in the field in quite a while. But you know, getting somebody a sales report. You know, that’s that’s not, you know, a month old. You know, sometimes it’s just amazing for a company. I think we’re a little bit beyond that. But the The basics are really what a lot of fundamentals. I think I think maybe that’s that’s the way it is with a lot of things with sports or with businesses you’ve got to have, you’ve got to have that solid foundation. And so we end up doing a lot of work, even with some some very, very large, very sophisticated companies that we help them kind of get the basics in place. And from there, then they can do amazing things.

Jeremy Weisz 13:36

Love it. I’d love to kind of, you know, talk more in depth on a company that you did some work with and help so we can kind of understand deeper on what you do and how it works. One of the companies that you did some work with was driven brands. Yeah.

David Fussichen 13:54

So German brands, it’s one of our one of our favorite, favorite clients. Because we’re doing we’re doing so much with them. They’ve got, they’ve got I think it’s six or eight different brands. So a lot of people haven’t heard of driven brands that they may have heard of some of the brands of Mako Meineke, they have a whole bunch of car washes. But what we do for them is we have helped them kind of develop an overall data show we’ve been working with them for a very long time. And it’s kind of a neat story because we started very small and and, you know, had some success and work more and more. And at this point, we’re working, I don’t leave all of their divisions, but it’s most of their divisions and sort of coming up the overall strategy, you know, what do they need from a data perspective, but we’ve got pods deployed at different different divisions and out of at the kind of the headquarters of the infrastructure layer to kind of pull it all together so that they can really maximize what they’re doing across their their their kind of portfolios and they’re out of private equity. The company but they sort of are in fact that they’ve got different brands and different divisions that are working, they’re trying to get them working together and as as efficiently as possible. And so they’ve been they’ve been great to work with and, and the stuff that we’re doing with them is helping them up. Same Same concept we were talking about for understand their customers better understand sales better understand supply chain, things like that’s kind of the bread and butter kind of kind of stuff.

Jeremy Weisz 15:30

I don’t know if you remember this, but I’m curious. When you say starting small, what is that first initial project look like? And I don’t know, it may it’s been a while and you don’t remember, but if you do, I’d love to hear what they actually wanted to start with before they kind of grew into more services and other divisions.

David Fussichen 15:52

Yeah, with, with driven brands, we really started with, they had bought some new software, and they just needed some help standing it up. So they bought and started implementing software called QlikView. And we sent a couple of folks out to help them get that installed and get that connected into their systems. And that was kind of how it started started building some reports and things like that. And And as that goes on, you start getting you know, our team, start getting ideas, let’s do this, you can do that, you know, what about this, and our consultants doing a really good job, and it kind of kind of builds from there. And that’s what we really like to do with our customers. Of course, sometimes we do get get in and we do we do that data strategy. And we start, we start big. We love it when we can do that. But a lot of times we do we do start small and kind of work our way in. Now that

Jeremy Weisz 16:43

makes sense. Because I could see how it’s kind of daunting to release a new software or something within the company. So having an expert team of experts do it for speed of implementation, not just speed of implementation, but like you are experts at it. So you’ll be pointing out how they can use it maybe ways they didn’t even think of using it. And then they’re saying, well, wow, they know this, what else can they help us with?

David Fussichen 17:08

Yeah, key a key part of our marketing message used to be a fast time to value which we still we still love to offer really fast time to value. But we’ve, we started talking a lot more about like enduring value. So it’s not just just a quick fix, but we’re setting setting our clients up for really long term success, making sure that they have the infrastructure that’s going to support, you know, not just the questions that they have today, but the question and even know that they’re going to have 235 years from now. So that’s, that’s really neat to kind of get that trust and get the build relationships with with clients where we’re able to be their partner and doing that we really like to think of ourselves as equals, with our with our, with our clients. So so they’ve got that business expertise, we’ve got expertise from data and software rounded, and we’re kind of working together to achieve to achieve goals together, which which in our clients is obvious, our clients goals.

Jeremy Weisz 17:59

You worked also with the company clo that helped fuel hire what happened in what did you do there?

David Fussichen 18:07

Yeah, so that was a so that was the one where we kind of did get in and start start big to start with. So that’s, that’s a really, really cool company. They are they are in the business style, helping other companies hire and retain talent. So that’s a humongous topic now. And so they have grown since we even started working with them just a couple of years ago from they may have been just under 1000 employees. And I think they’re 3000 employees, maybe even more than that at this point. And so for them, they had a they had a kind of some obsolete software that was kind of doing some of their data analytics work and serve them okay, when they were smaller, but as they grew and they had more and more needs, then you’ve got to have much more robust systems, faster response times better security, integration systems that didn’t have before. So so that’s kind of what we did, we kind of we work with them as to where they want to go from business and they’ve got even bigger, bigger goals ahead of them. And when they are now to where they are now they’re interesting thing about that also the sort of that ideal customer profile for us, there may be a private equity behind them to help them kind of achieve their goals in private equity. That’s that’s the that’s the, the money behind the growth and transformation. We’d like to be the data behind that growth and transformation. So so they’re on a on a growth path. They’ve got their private equity partner, helping them believe it’s premiera is a company behind them. But we’re kind of the data and analytics company that’s helped them kind of put that together. So we put our you know, move their move their infrastructure, into a really robust cloud based system, put all the tools in place, make sure that the right staff have access to things and, and that they’re able to, to answer the questions that they have about, about. And another thing about them, that’s interesting, it’s not only, we’re not only working for them, we’re working for their clients, right. So they have the clients that are big corporations, and they need insights into their, into their hiring and their retention and those things. So building that in a in a way that’s secure, and, and useful. And, and built in a way that’s going to scale to, you know, not just, you know, one company, but they’ve got to kind of rinse and repeat for every one of their significant clients to be able to offer that value that that they do.

Jeremy Weisz 20:43

debut. I mean, you’ve grown tremendously since 2015. To now. So just give people a snapshot of okay, what the business look like in 2015. And then let’s compare it to today with team leadership, and how it’s how it’s running now.

David Fussichen 21:03

Yeah, that’s that’s been my, my journey. And it’s been, it’s been really fun. Like, sweet, we started 2005. And you want to start around 2000

Jeremy Weisz 21:10

I’m sorry, 2005. I meant 2000. I thought

David Fussichen 21:13

you were just kind of the last the last seven years. So if we keep paying back the 2005. Yeah, it’s been really a it’s like I have a different job every couple of years, which is, which is interesting, technically at the same job for this whole, but it’s fun to do different stuff. I think the key thing has been along the way, filling in a really important gap or an important position and taking stuff off of my plate. In the beginning, I did everything I would, I would directly work with some of our clients. So I’m a consulting perspective. I did all of our sales, and then all of our financing and all of our hiring. In 2006, I think we had about five employees had five employees on our longest serving employee other than other than me as our CEO, Brian, Brian came in as a kind of a mid level consultant and has been really fun to see him his career grow here. He’s eminently capable, but his career has has been 90% here. Really fun?

Jeremy Weisz 22:16

Is that your currency? Oh, is that who you’re referring to? Brian?

David Fussichen 22:20

Oh, yeah. But at different different points, you know, we brought in the head of sales, who brought on the head of finance, brought in somebody do internal recruiting, who has since been promoted into our chief people, officer, marketing, somebody work on work on marketing, and, you know, up until I don’t know, for the first 567 years, like every single person reported to me, and you gotta get that middle about layer of management. And I used to describe that as like trying to, like, do sculpture with like boxing gloves, right, you don’t have that anymore, you’re gonna get very blunt tools. And at this point, we have multiple levels. So you have to, to support, you know, what we’ll, you know, we’ll also pass 200 employees, this this year, and so there’s multiple levels, so you’ve got to make sure everyone is on the same page. So there’s a lot of a lot of repetition, you know, here’s our values, here’s our vision, here’s, here’s how we approach projects, here’s what’s important about about how we, how we work with our clients. So So I do a lot of a lot of repeating things. So people hear it in different ways, and make sure that the team is, is on track. And then I love it when I hear other people that are, you know, other leaders within the company that are kind of echoing some of those themes that we may talk about in a leadership meeting, right, and I see I see somebody doing a presentation, maybe for their, for their service on talking about what we’re doing in a, you know, with a particular practice area or something. And if they go well, and this relates to the company’s vision and company’s goals in this way, and how to tie it all together. So I think that’s something that’s that’s worked really well, but it’s, it’s really been, I think, trust in the people that that have gone in those ministers let them do their job. So I don’t I don’t remember micromanager, I think you can people pretty, pretty long leash and trust them to do the job kind of set the vision and kind of let them do it. They need my help. I’m there. And I think that’s not just me, I think our whole our whole leadership team has kind of that attitude. And I think it’s, it’s, it’s worked really well it makes I think it makes for good careers, for folks that come in and there’s advancement opportunities and we like to give them great, interesting work to do and while and grow together.

Jeremy Weisz 24:40

When we look back in 2005 Till now, they’ve you know, the, I want to see to hear a little bit more of a timeline of the leadership team, you know, because you really carve this out and create this from scratch. Who is some of the key leadership team now I’m sure Maybe starting off, for example, maybe you didn’t have a chief people officer maybe that grew out of the human resources, who were some of the key leadership team positions first. And then some that kind of grew later on,

David Fussichen 25:14

I think an easy way for me to think about this, just to think about each person in their path through. So we’ll start with Brian. So Brian is our, our Chief Operating Officer, Brian was a consultant promoted to a consulting manager. At one point, he was in charge of our Chicago office. And then at one point, he was in charge of consulting generally. And then as we grew, it’s just, you know, he was able to cut his take his career to the next level, because we needed that. And, and he brought up a very close, and we’re friends too, because we working together so long, so that he kind of grew from that traditional just consultant, you know, step, step, step, step, step step. I would say the next the next kind of leader would maybe be our Chief Technology Officer. So Patrick came in. Because he was he was a, he was running a company that we were working with we sort of I mean, we acquired his company, but it was two that was two people, him and his partner. And so we brought him on board. And I know Patrick forever, Patrick. Patrick was worked in product management for for MicroStrategy. And a number of other positions. But one of the best technologists one of the I love working with him, because we can get worked on so fast. We think we think quickly, he can finish to finish things off things I might get stuck on, he can fit and finish them really quickly. He’s a great technical leader and a great kind of a great strategy person. So so he came on that way. And we’ll put we had we had a head of sales, we don’t have a head of sales. Now it was actually my first significant leadership hire. But that’s a little bit distributed at this point. So we have sales leadership, and you have guys like Shaun T and Bill Kazakh and Brian provides some leadership there as well. But that’s a little bit decentralized. Our Chief Financial Officer, that was probably the second position that that we brought in. At the time, we first brought somebody in was just just a bookkeeper. Now somebody somebody do QuickBooks on so I didn’t have to do it all the time, check things off, make sure make sure invoices are going out and things like that. And that kind of grew to a controller position. And at this moment about a CFO so a little bit of a extremely sad story. But we are a very close friend of mine, who was our CFO passed away about a year ago, a little bit more than a year ago. And so we were we were really without a CFO, we were without a CFO for about six months, she passed away unexpectedly. We were. So that was such a key position that that was That was why we use an external recruiter to find our new CFO and John has been willing to sell just about a year. So Tracy actually passed away about a year and a half ago. But John came in it has been amazing. So John’s, our newest member of the executive team, but that’s that’s a function that we needed pretty early on. And then one of the one of our one of my real pride points, I would say there’s our marketing capabilities. So Tracy came on board about 11 years ago, as a kind of a marketing just a marketing person to help with email campaigns and trade shows and stuff like that. And she’s grown up here to to a very capable marketing executive and really leading us something I’m pretty, pretty proud about. We mostly get our own clients. We’re not relying on vendors to bring us clients. So we’ve got kind of a multi, multi channel, multi multiple ways of bringing clients in and multiple things. We got social media, we’ve got a website, SEO, web, newsletter, webinars, all kinds of things that she and her team have laid out. So she grew up here too. And then I’ve Karen, our Chief People Officer, we brought her on that was amazing. One of my favorite hire stories, because she was hiring people away, knew she was recruiting people at her company before analytics before she was an adult like say she was she was at a company called Clarity, which if you know about this industry, clarity is a company that’s pretty big in this, especially in Chicago. When they got acquired by Accenture a couple of years ago, she worked for clarity and she was recruiting people away. So I called her up and I asked her to stop recruiting our people offered her a job. And she was curious enough about how bold that was to meet me for lunch one day. And she she’s, I want to know she came over here. She’s been awesome, but she came over As a as our recruiter at first, she was our first recruiter, she was our first really senior level recruiter, and has grown her role to be not just recruiting, but HR, staffing,

internal training, and so on. So it’s just She’s grown up here over the last about 10 years, but eight or nine years here as well. So it’s just been, you know, and each one of these junctures is like, what do we need, you know, we need, we need more people, I’m tired of paying recruiting fees, let’s, let’s hire a recruiter. Now, I can’t do all the sales anymore, I was tired head of sales, I can’t do all the finance anymore. Let’s hire someone to do to do finance. And so that’s, that’s kind of been that’s kind of been the path. At this point where we’re contemplating, well, do we need to do we need to beef up that executive team anymore? Do we need it? Do we the chief revenue officer, for example. And then I’d also be remiss if I didn’t, if I didn’t mention our managing directors. So we’ve got a group of many directors who are maybe not C level, because there’s not enough spots, maybe we can’t have you know, 12 C level folks for a company our size, but we do need senior leaders that are that are looking after parts of our business, whether it’s one of those service lines, like data strategy with Christina, or analytics, with Kevin or data management, Tony. So they’re looking after those kinds of those big picture, they help they help sell, they help kind of lead our lead the direction as far as going there. And then our sales or kind of our growth team, you know, shot a bill and their teams are, are the ones that are like in the trenches, you know, every day, now tell, tell prospects, you know, turning prospects into into clients. And then and then Dave, who’s in charge of our customer success team, but that’s kind of a, making sure that we’re maximizing our relationships with our existing clients. And that’s been a, that’s been a real success, too. So

Jeremy Weisz 32:02

I appreciate that. That’s really helpful. And it’s like, people are kind of homegrown, they start and then they kind of, you know, take on more and more responsibility until they’re, you know, kind of had or managing division.

David Fussichen 32:19

I think we did it the hard way, right. And the way the only way we could afford right, I couldn’t afford, I couldn’t afford a CFO, you know, so I can hire a bookkeeper, right. And then at some point, we can hire a controller, right? Somebody who was a little bit more capable, right, and then our controller grew into a CFO. And that happened. But that’s that was the that’s the cheap way to do it. It’s cheap. And but it takes a long time, it gets your trading time for money, right. And that’s where we were. So we’re now in a fantastic spot, because we have a good mix of most of the folks have been here for a long time, and have grown up here. But we’ve got folks, you know, John, our CFO came in with a wealth of experience. But outside of analytics, he brought an amazing perspective. The other the other leader we have is a Tony Evans. He’s our he’s our consultant leader, and he brings in, you know, he’s been here about a year. And he brings enormous experience from outside. So So we’re at the point now, where we, you know, we can hire folks a lot, a lot of experience. But rolling it is takes a long time. And I mean, you have to have a decade’s long view to do it. Otherwise, you have to have a bunch of money. And you hire someone that already has that experience.

Jeremy Weisz 33:31

Yeah, I mean, there’s there’s probably advantages and disadvantages. I imagined, like people are, had been the organization, they, they live and breed the culture. Right. And so it’s a little bit

harder when you bring someone else in from that perspective, is this going to be a cultural fit or not? You know, someone’s been there for nine years. You know, they live and breed the culture. So there’s advantages I see to having home grown to Yeah, yeah, I

David Fussichen 33:57

think I think like the two leaders that were the two senior level leaders that we brought in, and Alaska in the last year or so, I mean, they’ve been so well, with our culture. It’s like they’ve been here for 10 years. And I think that was probably the most important aspect of of why we hired him, because we knew that they would be amazing. with who we are.

Jeremy Weisz 34:19

Yeah. Dave, um, you know, I know you guys, you are growing a lot as a company from like you said, all the marketing efforts in the referral efforts, because you you’ve been servicing clients for almost a couple of decades now. But one way people grow I know that is on your roadmap is through acquisitions. And it sounds like you’ve already kind of acquired some teams and companies as well. So I’m wondering, what do you look for in an acquisition, who’s good for you know, maybe someone’s listening like, you know, this sounds good. Maybe I want to join forces with Analytics8, who’s an ideal acquisition for you? Yeah. So

David Fussichen 34:59

That’s a that’s relatively new for us. So we haven’t done we are, we’re talking to companies today, and we want to keep talking to talking to more companies. But I think the number one thing is, is that cultural fit and make sure that they’re gonna be like, so you don’t really get a sense of like, talk to somebody, but whether that’s going to be the case, but they’ve got to, they’ve got to add add some capability to us, we’re looking for a company that can add capability. So whether it’s enhancing something already doing, you know, maybe they’re maybe they’re really great with snowflake, or maybe they really have a really great sales analytics practice or something like that, that that’s really added it to us, we’re looking for companies that are, you know, probably in the $10 million revenues all I think there’s, there’s kind of different profiles of companies that are, either maybe the owner is looking to retire or looking or maybe, or maybe a founder of sticking a company, as far as they really want to take it individually and really want to be part of a bigger team. And I think a company that, that that, that wants to keep doing this, the founder, the owner wants to wants to kind of keep doing what they’re doing, they don’t want to be absorbed into a giant, behemoth of a company, and they don’t want to become a team, you know, add on to some, some company that’s that’s focused is data and analytics. So it’s gonna be a company that’s really very focused on data and analytics, some aspect of it, and they want to work with work with a team that’s going to be like them and let them do what they’re doing it at a bigger, better, faster level, our objective, and we may never get there, but this is what we’re this is what we’re looking for. For auditors, we want to be the premier independent data consulting company in the United States and UK. So I think that’s that’s far away. But it may not be that far away, because there’s not there’s not. That’s not like a clear any place where there is a clear leader. And I don’t think I don’t think we’re going to get there unless we do acquisitions. So it’s something that that’s new to us. And we’re trying to, we’re flexing that muscle and learning about as we’re going through discussions and meetings and getting out there in the marketplace. But no, check back here. You know, check back here in a few months, I think we can maybe talk about some, some some successes, perhaps, in that area.

Jeremy Weisz 37:26

Dave, I have one last question. Before I ask it, I just want to thank you for sharing your stories, your time and I want to encourage people to go to, to learn more about what they’re working on and what they’re doing, you can check out more episodes of inspired insider and raised 25. You know, I know for you, the culture is really important. And we are talking before we hit record, have you have a company Summit coming up? So whenever you’re listening, maybe you know, so I love to hear about why you do that. And what you do at the company Summit, because it is a lot of time, energy and money dedicated to your fine people in people are not working, you know. So I’d love to hear why you do the company summit and what goes on with the company Summit.

David Fussichen 38:15

So I guess that started back. And we’re about maybe six people and we had a Christmas party and invited and everyone would happen to be in Chicago. So every other spouse came. And we went to bootcut tobacco, and we were we didn’t do that place. It’s good, too. I love it too much. That’s why I never go there. But they’ve put us on the side of a side room or just a table. I don’t think all the spouses came we were maybe like eight or eight or nine people there. But that kind of turned into a tradition. And we had a Christmas party every year. And as we open offices, and we hired people outside of Chicago, we started to fly people in and that became a really great tradition. People love it, it was an opportunity to meet everyone. Well, we got to a point where that was just prohibitively expensive, and it was really just a party. And so we just we didn’t do it for a couple years. And everyone really miss it. You know, whenever we like, you know, we get feedback from employees and say, you missed that Christmas party and we just did a Christmas party. Yeah, like however, it doesn’t have to be the same Can we do it? We did. We did regional ones for a while. And and so we decided back in 2019 that we were going to get an audit we do all company Summit. We’re gonna bring everybody in not spouses, this time, just company, we’re going to do business stuff. A couple of days. We’re going to have we’re going to you know, riverboat cruise and do some team building, you know, trust balls all trust balls all day long. Getting we didn’t do any trust balls, but that, you know, that kind of that kind of stuff, have some fun together, do some learning together. And the timing of that was just perfect. Everyone was just, they loved it because, you know, they got to meet people that they work with on projects that maybe, you know, maybe saw couple of times, and even back then we were, we were still working remote a lot because you know, companies don’t want to pay for travel as much. And even if you were traveling, you’re you wants to get everybody, you’re seeing just a couple of people. But that worked out perfect is that was that was just a couple of months before COVID. So we had all that good feeling going into COVID. And when we had when we had a lockdown, there was a lot of great connections that people had. And I think it contributed quite a lot to our very high retention rate, high, you know, employee satisfaction rates, the fact that we, you know, cohesion working together, and it was immensely expensive. But when you think about it, like the cost of losing a couple of really good people, like that’s what it cost. So if we present, if we prevented a couple of really good people from leaving, it was worth it. And you don’t really know. So we were gonna, there was no chance we’re going to do one and 2020 Even though we plan to do one on COVID Everyone, no, that’s not happening, we’re going to do one and 2021 out off how COVID time kind of compressing, but we had that couple of months in the summer 2021, we thought this thing was over. And we were planning to do one and 2021. And then whatever dealt, I think Delta came out then and so we didn’t do it. And so we decided this year, we’re going to do it. I mean, unless COVID shuts down at this point, I don’t see any chance of COVID shutting it down, we’re gonna bring everybody in then in late September. And it’s pretty wild, because there’s enough people that we’re going to have like pro sound system, speakers, you know, screens, and then find a venue that can hold that many people which will be which was pretty wild and kind of intimidating. You know, everyone will know me. But I won’t necessarily remember everybody’s names. So we’ve got to get the main tags. But we’re gonna, the whole, the whole thing was going to be leadership. So we’re bringing in external experts, doing some leadership training, different aspects of leadership, we’re gonna do some, some workshops and things like that around different areas of the business. They’ll talk about career paths, we’ve got a mentoring program, we’ve got, for example, a, a women’s, a women’s group mentoring program, and they’re, they’re gonna get together and they’re gonna have, you know, I’m super supportive of it, but I’m not allowed in, so but they’re gonna they’re gonna have a session and sessions about some of the tech stuff and I’m just I’m so excited. And so looking forward to it. I know, most of our employees are and we’re aiming for 100% of attendance, but I’m I don’t think I think there’ll be any people here that just whatever reason won’t be able to make it but we’re gonna find our folks in from Europe for an

Jeremy Weisz 42:43

amazing, Dave, first of all, thank you. I appreciate everyone check out and learn more and we’ll see you next time.

David Fussichen 42:51

Thanks so much.