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Nate Watson


Nate is well known throughout the region as a leader who has helped numerous companies bridge the gap between data overload and actionable intelligence. He has been CAN's President since 2015 and since then has worked ceaselessly to strengthen and expand its operations.

Like what you see? Connect with Nate.


Contemporary Analysis Awarded Small Business of the Month

on December 12

Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

on July 28

Every week CAN will highlight a past or present CAN employee as part of a CAN alumni network series. This week we feature Grant Stanley.

Grant Stanley founded Contemporary Analysis in 2008. For 6 years he served as CEO and president before handing off the company to Nate Watson to pursue new ventures. In 2014, Stanley launched Bric. Bric is a managing software system designed specifically for creative agencies. Today we highlight a post on Bric’s blog about the art of time tracking and the importance of the data it collects:


Contemporary Analysis Awarded Small Business of the Month

on December 12

Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

on July 28

Every week CAN will highlight a past or present CAN employee as part of a CAN alumni network series. First up to bat is Eric Burns

Eric Burns is a former employee of Contemporary Analysis. In 2011, he brought on CAN’s first international clients. Today he is the CEO and founder of Gazella Wifi Marketing, which turns restaurant guest information into a marketing tool. He continues to be an active member of CAN’s alumni network.

Here are his thoughts on analyzing wifi marketing:

No matter what kind of website you are running, web hosting is the first pillar of Website Analytics. In this day and age, it is crucial to rank high with Google and Bing if you expect to draw organic traffic to your site. Many people never make it past page one–no one makes it past page two. It doesn’t matter if your website is a blog, an online marketplace, or simply a static landing page detailing what your business is and how you can be reached. The end goal is to create warm leads of people interested in what you are selling. How do we do this? By measuring who comes to the site, what they read, and how long they stay. But, how do you know your metrics aren’t skewed by unreliable hosting? The answer lies in understanding the measurements. Here are a few things you should know:

First Pillar: Reliable Web Hosting

Uptime and Speed are the key words here. People simply get tired waiting for a site that is ‘temporarily down’ or loading slowly, so they will invariably hit the back button to return to the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), never to return. It is through the SERPs that you gain organic traffic, so if you don’t have reliable hosting and your site is often down or slow to load, you won’t gain anything from all that SEO you so painfully worked for (or paid for) to move you up to that coveted first page of Google. Look for hosting from providers such as Flywheel or Best Web Hosting that gives you tools to maximize your up-time as well as speed. Then, and only then, can rest assured you won’t lose traffic due to inaccessible or slow web pages.

Second Pillar: Metrics

Once you are assured that you have a web hosting company that will keep your site up and running at speeds that won’t frustrate visitors, it’s time to see start tracking who is coming to your websites. Externally, this can be done by harvesting Wi-fi log-ins (Gazella Wifi), or internally (Google Analytics). Ideally, you want to track who came, how long they stayed, whether or not moved about through internal pages, or simply didn’t like what they saw and left. It should also be stated, keeping people on your website by leading them to other content is a necessity to keep them on your website, but ultimately your goal is to get them to download something or sign up for something.

How does web hosting have an impact on this? Remember, you can’t get accurate results if you are losing visitors due to unreliable hosting! Your numbers will not paint an accurate picture so your analytics will be skewed.

Third Pillar: Predictive Analytics

Once you have a stable hosting company and are measuring metrics, you can begin to do things like predict which advertisements or offers get a person to buy/interact. This is done through predictive analytics. Contemporary Analysis (CAN) uses data collected from its web site train its machine learning model to offer its potential customers articles they might be interested in. This is similar to what Amazon does with products, Netflix does with movies, and you can do with the right data.


Hosting, Metrics, and Analytics are the three elements that must work together if any type of website is to survive, grow, and provide leads. Without reliable hosting, your drop metrics are skewed and your click-through rates are diminished. Your website metrics will be skewed due to bounce rates due, not to bad content, but to speed and hosting. If your site is being damaged by poor hosting, I highly recommend changing hosting companies. With reliable hosting, your metrics will be accurate and your data can be used to predict customer interactions.

Your company will thank you for it.

For additional web hosting information, check out this free guide at It’s a great way to get familiar with web hosting before you get started.


Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

on July 28

Where in the world CAN you find us?

on May 23

CAN is excited to announce, in partnered with the Interface Web School, the creation of Omaha’s first Data Science Academy (Oma-DSA). 

This is something we have been working on for a long time. It is actually a continuation of a service we currently offer to clients where we train a company’s first data scientist. We feel this unique person, trained in both data science and business problem solving, is needed by their company to help implement the ideology more than produce mathematical models or produce visualizations.

In the past, we heard that while companies know how to find and hire a data scientist, they fear not being able to utilize this person or even know how to correctly scope how to use predictive analytics in their business. This caused them to not execute or to execute poorly and leave a bad taste in the organization’s mouth.

CAN has discovered that having a data science advocate (instead of just a data scientist) usually fixes the hangup with implementation in most companies trying to use data science for the first time. The realization there was a considerable lack of talent when looking to fill this need, led us to develop a school that teaches not only entry level data science, but also how to address the political red tape prevalent in changing how an operation thinks and makes decisions.

This academy will help CAN reach its goal of putting a data science advocate in every company in Omaha. While audacious, we feel this is a must to keep Omaha companies relevant in an economy where we are not just in competition from a company down the street but from every other company doing similar work around the world.



This certificate will teach some of the most important techniques and tools necessary to introduce data science into company culture, get necessary political buy-in, find, manipulate, and analyze the data present inside your company’s database, make predictions of outcomes, and create visualizations that can help non-technical users understand and see the identified trends and patterns inside the data.  

The Oma-DSA is designed to help set a company down the road of data discovery and data-driven decision making. While not the heavy mathematician or economist created by four year degrees, the graduate will leave the Academy with the confidence and the skills of an entry level data scientist and be able to have conversations with business units, build predictive analytical MVPs, and be able to know and manage the skill sets needed for future data scientist projects.

The Certificate Consists of 4 Modules: 

  • Basics of Python Programming
  • Data Manipulation and Management
  • Statistics and Computational Modeling
  • Data Visualization


All classes meet 2 nights per week for 22 weeks over the course of 28 weeks for a total of 154 hours of in-class instruction to complete the certificate.


For more information on course offerings and to apply, go to

You may also contact Nate Watson, director of the academy, at if you have specific questions about offerings or custom classes. 



Why you should invest in your employees

on August 8, 2016

The Omaha Data Science Academy

on June 22, 2016

Contemporary Analysis (CAN) is recognized nationally as a leader in the data science field and is regularly asked to “Spread the Good Word of Predictive Analytics” by presenting on various topics at conferences around the US.  In fact, CAN has presented at six conferences in the past 14 months, including:


    • InfoTech– Omaha, NE- “Politics and Big Data”
    • 2015 Predictive Analytics World– Chicago, IL- “How Predictive Analytics Fundamentally Changes Marketing”
    • Internet of Things Summit– Overland Park, KS- “The Implementation of Data Science into Production”
    • Big Data Summit– Kansas City, MO- “Finding and Managing Data Science Talent”
    • Vistage Sales Seminar– Omaha, NE- “Improving Sales and Customer Service using Predictive Analytics
  • 2016 Predictive Analytics WorldSan Francisco, CA- “How to implement Predictive Cross-Sales” 


CAN is thrilled to spread the word about the data revolution that the world is undergoing, and about the business advantages that can be exploited from understanding that data.  Because data science is an emerging field, many firms have questions about:

How do companies implement data science?  

How should data scientists be managed?  


Here are some important things to consider:

Every current data scientist comes from another field

Because data science is a new field, there is very little formal, university training available.  Although data science programs are under development at UC-Berkeley, Northwestern, and UN-Omaha (among others), current data scientists have all made the transition from some other area of expertise.  Some of the most common fields producing data scientists are Mathematics, Economics, and Political Science, and other scientific professions that measure and use data.

Data Scientists are not your average employee

Data scientists feel an innate need to solve problems.  This causes them to be creative thinkers who can think outside the box and operate when there is no box.  They tend to get deeply invested in problems, and use their creativity to find or simulate the right data.  Data scientists are tenacious, and because they place such a high value on finding answers, it is paramount that their solutions be utilized.

Managing a Data Scientist can be tricky

Data scientists are not necessarily businesspeople.  It’s a manager’s job to understand what a data scientist is trying to say, and to help them explain what their solutions mean to the rest of the company.  Additionally, data scientists are not to be managed agilely – the time it will take to find the answer to a hard problem cannot be predicted or scheduled.  Lastly, it is imperative that data scientists not be moved from projects or given menial tasks: they will get bored and leave.

Implementing Data Science is also tricky

There’s an old saying that “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks”, and this idea translates to business practices.  It is often difficult for firms to embrace new, proactive methods when they’ve been doing things the same way for years.  Occasionally, resistance to the implementation of data science is borne out of a fear of what will be found – data scientists are known for shining a light in places where light has never been shone before.  Another challenge is being patient once data science has been implemented.  Data science is very difficult, and predictive models require considerable fine-tuning before their true potential can be realized.  Confidence and complete company “buy in” is crucial to the implementation of predictive analytics, particularly in the earliest stages.  

The rewards are immense

When properly implemented, predictive analytics will take a firm to previously unattainable heights.  We live in an age where information is king, and firms who learn to obtain more accurate information in a shorter amount of time will have a distinct advantage over those who do not.  Generally, the first step down this road involves implementing data science. There exists a staggering amount of information in your company’s data… all you need is the key to unlock that knowledge!


Let us know how we can help you build predictive analytics into your company. We would be glad to help.

For more information or to gain knowledge as to who and how we have helped implement predictive analytics, go to our website at:

or connect with the president on LinkedIn at:

or send us an email at:

Download our Predictive Analytics ebooks:


Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

on July 28

Where in the world CAN you find us?

on May 23

Recently, Contemporary Analysis (CAN) was asked by the Indianapolis Business Journal to weigh in on how Predictive Analytics is changing the marketing space. We believe by combining predictive analytics and marketing, called contextualized marketing, marketing can move closer to the holy grail of one person, one sale.  Most companies do this by purchasing a software–it’s dactyl, most companies have a line item in their budget, and it gives a third-party marketing company reoccurring revenue. While CAN itself doesn’t have a piece of software to sell, we believe that contextualized marketing is the right move for companies and that those with the edge are “the ones using data scientists to predict who inside of a group of people have the propensity to buy.”

Because CAN doesn’t have the software solution, we approached the solution from a slightly different angle. We provide modeling and results in way that can be easily added to your current tracking software. This way, a company can begin the transition from shotgun marketing to tactical marketing with a low cost of entry. Once implemented, the case can be made for the software using predictive analytics to be purchased and used if needed.

Additionally, because software companies provide a tool and very little in the way on why the tool is important, most software implementations fall flat. We believe our value is helping companies manage the change management necessary to implement the software and to understand how to use them effectively–which greatly increases both the adoption and the ROI from the adoption.

Let us know how we can help you build data science into your marketing. We would be glad to help.

For more information or to gain knowledge as to who and how we have helped implement contextual marketing, go to our website at:

or connect with the president on LinkedIn at:

or send us an email at:


Full article IBJ article:


Contemporary Analysis Awarded Small Business of the Month

on December 12

Eleven Nebraska startups that could be the next big thing

on July 28

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.”

New Leader

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.”

New Verticals

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.

New Ideas

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.”


More data on Contemporary Analysis can be found on their website at: or by connect with Nate Watson on LinkedIn at:



Machine Learning Upset Prediction Project Proves its Value

on March 27

Re-Blog: Why Visualizing Data is Important

on February 24

Its amazing when you have a target market how it changes everything you do. I realized a few weeks ago, some of the networking I was doing was not a good use of my time. The problem was not that there was a lack of good people there, but rather my target market wasn’t there. It was time to adapt. All networking has an expiration date, but this was different. I looked at my sales philosophy, the one written on a sticky note behind my computer that tempers everything I now do, and realized I needed to change how I network. The sticky note reads: Read more…

I got to cross something off my bucket list this year, I was a pastor in a wedding.  Two of my really close friends got married and I had the honor of introducing them as man and wife.  It was one of the more unique things I will ever get to do.  However, I was shocked because I realized that how easy it was to introduce the newly married couple, “I now pronounce you man and wife”, however it can be so difficult to introduce yourself properly at networking events.

If introducing a newly married couple is so easy, how is it so difficult to introduce yourself at a networking event?  It shouldn’t be hard or awkward.  Yet we go to an event to meet people who we have never met, who are there to meet people they have never met and are scared and clueless as to how to make our introductions.   Most of us gather up 20 seconds of insane courage and, more often than not, dive awkwardly into the introduction.  I have immense respect for courage, but there are good and bad ways to introduce yourself that will lead  to someone remembering you which is the point.  In my years of networking, I have experienced quite a variety of these introductions.  The following are some of the most “interesting”.

Lesson 1: Never let the act of introducing outshine the introduction.

None of the names used here are real because I did not remember the person or what they did.  That is partly the point.  I tell new networkers to always keep in mind that  1) most of us, including myself,  have done one of these things in our 20 seconds of insane courage,  2) networking is tricky, hard, and has a massive learning curve, and 3) wisdom is only gleaned from the lessons of those that have gone before us.

Lesson 2:  Wait until you are acknowledged before jumping in, and then stay and talk.

The Cannonball.  These guys are the worst.  There I am having a nice conversation with 4 of my friends when a person walks up to the table introduces themselves, in the middle of my sentence, to explain they are so and so and they are glad to meet me, and here is their card.  Then they leave without another word and do the same thing at the next table.  I believe this is the number one cause of sorting through cards at the end of the event and not being able to remember who half of them are.

Lesson 3: A card is not an introduction, throwing a card is like introducing yourself by yelling your name at someone as you drive by them.

The Dealer:  This one makes me laugh every time.  This is when someone walks up to you and your friends at a table and proceeds to introduce themselves as they toss you, not hand you, a card.  It goes something like this:

“Hi, I’m Rick”,”Hi, I’m Rick”,”Hi, I’m Rick”, “Hi, I’m Rick”  each time dealing you one of their business cards; not passing or handing, dealing.  Throwing a card at you.   I always laugh when “Rick” is done.  A table full of people now have your card, but are thinking to themselves “Did I just get introduced to someone?”  Its never a good sign when after you introduce yourself, people are still asking what just happened.

Lesson 4:  Use an excuse to refill your plate or cup to disengage from a Never Ending Story. It is good for you and them.

The Never Ending Story:  Great movie in 1984.  Horrible way to introduce yourself.  NES’ers think the only way to make you remember them is to talk to you.  The. Entire. Time.  I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten myself stuck with one of these.  I just have to excuse myself to go get more food or drink and pray they find someone else to stick to.  The hard part is when they find me again on the other side of the room and I have a full plate .  The best way of getting rid of them is by using a trick my friend Rick Sheahan came up with.  Give them a card, and tell them to call you.  It works because they think they have accomplished their goal; and, to date, not one of them has actually ever called.

Lesson 5: Always give cards face up with your name facing them so they can see, not just hear, what your name and your company’s name is.

The Reverse Pick Pocket:  This is my favorite networking story.  So there I was, eating another plate of food, avoiding the Never Ending Story, when a man I had never met, walked up and introduced himself.  While simultaneously shaking my right hand, slipped his card into my shirt pocket with his left hand.   I think I probably looked at him for a full 5 seconds before I could say anything.  What do you even say?  Thanks for card Mr.???  Wait, Let me get the card back out of my pocket so I can know what your name is.”  Unbelievable. He actually violated my personal space to try and give me his card.

A few things jump out at me about this story.  While being very brave, he was very lucky I don’t have much personal space.   I found it more funny than offensive, but he didn’t know that.  Try that on a different guy he might get knocked out.  We won’t even mention how wrong that would be for the opposite sex.

Lesson 6:  Its hard enough to coach people to give referrals.  People do not give them of their own free will.  Especially not to someone they just met.

The Double Carder:  This is when someone walks up to a complete stranger and hands them two cards so that you use the extra card to refer them.  This is way too forward.  Why should I refer you?  I just met you, I barely understand what you do, let alone, am I confident enough to refer you to people that value my opinion.  I do send double cards in Thank You notes and Christmas cards, but never as an introduction.

Lesson 7: It is hard remembering people at the end of the night.  It just becomes confusing when you have two companies.

The Two Card Monte:  Similar to the Double Carder, you get two cards from this person too.  This time, they are different.  One for each company this person has.  You then have to play the game similar to the one played on a box on a street corner for money.  Follow the queen, which company am I with, anyone can win.  I feel like if I hold out the right card and say “this one” I might have a chance to win $5 dollars.   Giving someone two cards does not promote two businesses.  It just confuses me.  Do I have to listen to two 30 second commercials and then pick which one fits my business.  What about me?  Do I get  to give a one minute elevator speech now?  I have always viewed people with two business cards from two companies at the same time as confused.  I don’t usually follow up with them.  Take that to heart, as I am not unique in how I handle this.

Lesson 8: I don’t know you. I don’t know if I need to know you. Let’s get pleasantries out of the way before we start with the power point.

The Used Car Salesman:  I shake my head in disbelief when I see this.  I don’t need your companies history, how great your products are, how many people are in your office, and all the awards you have won before I know if I need something you have.  Introductions are about introducing yourself, not making a presentation.  Let me figure out if I want a sales presentation before you make one.  If you are new to networking , you get a pass on this, but all the more reason I ask new networkers to read my posts on networking first.

Learning to introduce yourself can be hard.  Introductions take some planning and some courage to introduce yourself to someone you have never met.  I hope you understand that while funny, all of these introductions are serious gaffes that lead to zero second meetings.  In all of these cases, I don’t remember the names of the gaffers and I’m pretty sure that is the whole point of networking.  When in doubt go introduce yourself, try this: Shake someone’s hand, tell them your name, hand them your card, comment on the food, and see where the conversations goes.  It works for me.


Would you like to learn more about how you can improve your sales process using the power of predictive analytics?

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