Anyone familiar with his personal and business histories knows Grant Stanley is a natural-born entrepreneur.
Stanley learned first-hand about his desire to be his own boss when he instinctively started his first business as an elementary school student. While walking through his Omaha neighborhood one day, he noticed the many homes that needed landscaping assistance, and despite having no experience, called upon those neighbors and offered suggestions and recommendations.
Recognizing his drive and ingenuity at a young age, they hired him to do their yards, and a future business magnate was born. He went on to attend business school at UNO—studying analytics and graduating in just over two years—and it didn’t take him long to realize that’s where his true future lay.
“I’m not sure exactly where it came from; I guess it was always just part of who I am,” Stanley says of his entrepreneurial outlook. “I enjoy working for myself, calling my own shots, and making my own decisions. Success or failure, it’s just in my nature.”
With his business plan in place, Stanley set out to find a partner—someone who shared his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for data along with a skill set to complement him.
Wanting someone fresh and undisturbed by the corporate world, he set out on the UNO campus and found Tadd Wood, who was still working on his degree.
“I enjoy working for myself, calling my own shots, and making my own decisions. Success or failure, it’s just in my nature.”
Once he agreed to work with Stanley, Wood decided not to limit his learning to one degree. When he was done, he’d earned four degrees in four years and was set to help Stanley move the business idea forward.
“I still had the landscaping business, but I knew it was time to get out of it,” Stanley says. “It’s our vision to make predictive analytics simple and affordable because all companies, not just the largest, should be able to benefit from predictive analytics and data science.”
These days, the two friends and business partners are elbow-deep in providing forecasting (or predictive analysis) for companies throughout the country and world.
Their up-and-coming Omaha company, Contemporary Analysis (CAN), has a simple message: “We build systems that help you work smart.” It’s their contention that their systems help improve sales, marketing, customer service, employee engagement, and strategic planning—all with the goal of achieving optimal performance with less effort.
Simple yet very effective, and considering they are competing with big hitters like IBM and serving clients throughout the world (but largely in Omaha), they are more than holding their own.
“All of our services tie into predictive analysis using database information and looking for patterns in the data to help us predict the future,” says Stanley, who founded CAN in January 2008 and brought Wood into the fold a month later. Both were just 20 at the time.
“Data is a great driver to determine what is likely to happen, particularly with human behavior and patterns. In the case of most of our business partners, we use this information to determine sales, buying patterns, and other historical indicators. It’s all science.”
And chemistry—something the two definitely share as they continue to grow their business and fulfill their dreams.