14 minutes | Aug 28th 2019

Activating Analytics in Business and Government

Todd Jones: My name is Todd Jones. I'm the chief analytics officer here at WebbMason analytics. We are a professional services firm helping our clients accelerate their analytic evolution. So I think my journey started about 10 years ago. Uh, I graduated from Princeton with a degree in operations research and financial engineering. So I could have basically taken f two paths. One, I could have went into the financial space or the second path I could have taken was going into the analytics space and I, and I chose the, the analytics space. I joined a very early company called Spry. When I joined. It was about four months old and primarily started off doing a lot of DOD contracting specific to analytics and data. And we eventually built that company to a pretty nice size. We expanded past the DOD space, got into commercial, started consulting with some large, uh, pharmaceutical companies, transportation companies, and really built that company up and then sold that in 2015. Curtis: When you fill that is Webb Mason, the company that then bought Spry? Todd: Correct. So Spry was again, another professional services firm specializing in data and analytics. WebbMason historically has been a marketing a firm and so they specialize in all aspects of marketing. And as you can imagine, analytics is definitely a big area of focus for them and their clients. And so they brought us in and about 20% of our revenue comes from marketing related activities through WebbMason and then 80% of our revenue still comes working with it and analytic groups outside of the WebbMason portfolio. Curtis: Interesting. Okay. So there was some crossover there, but not as much as you might expect. Todd: Yeah, definitely some crossover without a doubt. So that was definitely beneficial. But you know, as, as I'm sure you can imagine with any acquisition, you learn a lot. And so we're in a great spot right now, and we're able to generate very healthy stream of business independently, but then also find those synergies with WebbMason as it relates to the marketing activities. Curtis: Sure. That's awesome. So when you got started at Spry, ah what, what was your role? What did, what did that look like? Todd: Yeah, so when I got started, most of my role at that time was consulting. So I was working directly with our stakeholders who at the time were within the Department of Defense. So I split my time between Crystal City, Virginia and the Pentagon. And really what we were trying to do was help them build a solution that gave them a enterprise view across the four military groups, specifically related to human resources. So if you think about it, when we, you know, when we fought world war two, you had, you know, one division, the Marines and the navy out in the Pacific and then you had the army in Europe and they, for the most part fought separate campaigns.And then we started to get into Iraq and Afghanistan and all of a sudden all of these individuals started to really come together. And so you might look at a city block and you have the air force there, army there, you know, navy seals in the area. And so all of these groups now have to work very closely together. And one of the things that the DOD was trying to accomplish at that time was to start to get a better view of people across the different military branches. So, for example, rather if I need a particular skillset within a particular city block, can I get that skillset from the navy? Can I get that skillset from the army? Maybe the Marine Corps has that skillset. And so they needed a very, they needed a large enterprise view so that they could very easily and quickly start to develop these blended teams. And so that was definitely a combination of technology solutions as well as analytics solutions. And so we were consulting with individuals within the Pentagon to help them build that technology solution.Curtis: That's really interesting.
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