In 2003, David Fussichen opened the doors to—and solely operated—a data and analytics consulting firm in the U.S. By 2005, he merged his company with Analytics8, a small consulting firm out of Australia to establish Analytics8 in the U.S. Most recently, the company announced the acquisition of Mashey, a high-end data and analytics consulting firm based out of Denver.“Our goal is to build Analytics8 into the premier independent data and analytics consulting firm in North America,” Fussichen said, “and this is another step in that direction.”Mashey’s team will join Analytics8, where together they will help clients build data solutions that drive innovation and change the way people work with data. I sat down with David Fussichen, CEO of Analytics8, and Philip Lima, founder and former CEO of Mashey, to discuss how they came to their decision, and what it means for clients, partners, and respective teams.David, why did you decide to acquire Mashey? And Philip, why did you decide to combine your team with Analytics8? David Fussichen: I want to grow Analytics8 from a successful regional consulting firm into an elite, global data services powerhouse. This sort of goal requires us to scale in a way that cannot solely be achieved organically; we need to look at strategic acquisitions, too.We got introduced to Mashey at the right time in our growth journey, and after getting to know Philip, I believe that Mashey and its people are the perfect fit for the Analytics8 family. They see the world the way we do. They value and treat their clients like we do. And most importantly, they have the same drive to be the place where the best data and analytics professionals in the world can learn, grow, and thrive.Philip Lima: Over the last couple of years, several people have been interested in acquiring Mashey or merging Mashey with their existing team, but it never felt right. There wasn’t complete alignment with how we should bring the best data analytics capabilities to market at scale, or we just didn’t have the same values in place.With Analytics8, however, I was aware of the company’s great reputation and have known many of their team members over the years, even before I started Mashey. I watched as they solved some of the same challenges that we struggled with at Mashey—things like scaling demand generation to a narrow target market or being able to recruit, develop, and retain top talent in the most aggressive hiring market I’ve ever seen. I have had to turn away business, not for a lack of ability, but because we simply didn’t have enough people to meet the immediate needs of our clients. We also didn’t have the resources in place to develop skill sets and expand the reach of our consultants.I realized that Mashey could reach its goals faster if we merged with another company that had been there and done that, and at a core level I wanted to solve new challenges, not challenges that had already been solved by the company sitting right next to me.Analytics8 has had tremendous success scaling the company over the last several years—even during economic uncertainty—at a record pace without sacrificing their values. I have watched as they have created a network of career opportunities to help their people become well-rounded professionals—and at the end of the day, clients benefit as well.You both mentioned core values being aligned, can you discuss what those values are and how they serve not only clients, but the workforce as well?Philip Lima: We have always had a small company vibe—where everyone feels heard and valued and is working together toward a common goal. And although we never really subscribed to identifying a mission/vision/value statement, we made commitments to our customers to be the best data team they will ever work with–providing an exceptional experience; and to our team members, to help them do the best work of their career.We want our customers to look back on their experience working with us and remember it as the best experience they’ve ever had with any data analytics team—any internal team or any external partner. We want all our employees—early or late career—to have an experience that they can confidently call the best working experience of their career. Not because of perks and benefits, but because they work with great people, are challenged and supported, and recognized for the value they bring to the team.We also firmly believe that we should default to serving our customers first and not pledge allegiance to a specific technology partner or cloud provider. At Mashey, we’ve built data analytics products for more than 125 companies—enough to know that the best solutions span multiple clouds and independent software vendors. Analytics8 follows the same principle to design the best solution for the unique situation and not be limited to a specific set of tools.These commitments are aligned with those of Analytics8, and when combined, result in unparalleled value and benefit to both our clients and to our growing team—keeping the small company feel and culture intact, while being able to scale faster, do more interesting work, and better serve our clients.David Fussichen: I echo Philip’s sentiments 100%. The main reason Mashey is a great fit is because of our shared focus on the values that Philip mentioned—creating great experiences for both our clients and employees.From where I sit, the stakeholders I think about most are Analytics8 employees.We genuinely care about the careers of everyone on our team. We create opportunities for the most talented and passionate data professionals to grow their careers by engaging in interesting, meaningful work with our clients, and by fostering an open, inclusive culture. No matter how big we get, nothing will change the value we place on our people. If we take care of our people, I know that they will take care of our clients.Knowing Mashey shares those values is what matters to me. They have done meaningful, interesting work for their clients by focusing on bringing them up to date on the modern data stack, and they have fostered an open and inclusive culture along the way.Speaking directly to current and future clients, in what ways will this acquisition meet and exceed their data and analytics needs?David Fussichen: The biggest benefit will be that our clients will gain additional capabilities around modern data technology. The Mashey team brings more firepower to tech we already deploy: tech like dbt, Fivetran, Snowflake, Looker, and Qlik. They also bring new technical skills like Airbyte, Sigma, Monte Carlo, and Firebolt—all things we know our clients are using or considering.Mashey also brings a dedicated project and program management capability that we will adopt at Analytics8 for a consistent approach to delivering the highest quality projects.Finally, they bring talent who fill key open leadership positions in operations, sales, and customer success. The new perspectives and innovative ideas we gain from these experienced team members will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the work we do with our clients.Philip Lima: There is always benefit in bringing together two exceptional teams. As Dave already laid out, it introduces an opportunity for expanded capabilities—whether that be expertise in specific technologies, experience in different industries or lines of business, or even soft skills that are often underrated but equally important.Mashey brings new perspectives to working with the modern data stack. Our clients—such as PGA, Cherre, Fivos, and VICI—can expect more expertise, a deeper bench, and faster time to value.One of the most frustrating things for an entrepreneur is to turn away (or be denied) good business because we did not have enough resources, or we were missing one specific skill. Now, with Analytics8, we can deliver on any data and analytics project in front of us.Speaking specifically to the workforce—existing and incoming—at Analytics8, what should they know about this exciting new venture?Philip Lima: This was an incredibly personal decision for me to make. I knew that joining Analytics8 would affect so many families—each person who worked at Mashey and those that they support. It was important to me that this decision would make incremental improvements to their quality of life, and I believe that it will. What lies ahead is opportunity—career, experience, and professional development—with a great team of supportive people who want everyone to succeed.David Fussichen: We are going to honor the history and mission of Mashey and will take that forward into Analytics8. From the second we merged, the Mashey folks were a part of our team, and they have a say in how we do things, both internally and for our clients.I want to make sure that we never lose sight that we are on this journey together. If we are running too hard, we need to address that before we move ahead. We are doing historic things and I want to make sure everyone is having fun and getting a sense of fulfillment from doing it. If they aren’t, what’s the point?Analytics8 will continue to place investments in our people—ensuring that everyone has the training, materials, processes, support, skills—whatever they need to reach their goals.Looking ahead, what level of growth do you hope to see in the next few years?David Fussichen: When I look at the marketplace, every business needs what we can bring to the table: Every single company. The market is enormous and underserved, so there is no reason for us not to slam the accelerator.However, with all this opportunity in front of us, we must ensure we are growing in the right way and not just growing for the sake of growth. As we continue to scale the business, it’s important that any company we acquire, as well as any individual we hire, shares our values so that we keep the “soul” of Analytics8 in place.Philip Lima: There is no reason to be shy or undersell our ability to go after what we want—and that’s to be the biggest and best independent data and analytics consulting firm. Other companies have become major brands in the industry, and we think we’re even better than them. None of them have focused exclusively on data analytics and none are taking the “independent” customer-first approach of servicing across all leading technology and cloud vendors. We know what we need to do, we know who our competition is, and we’re ready to take it.As you think about continued growth, what about data and analytics excites you and why do you think the marketplace should pay attention?Philip Lima: Despite the fast-moving pace of our industry, analytics has slowly gone from being a “discretionary” nice-to-have to something that is business critical. And watching that progression has been incredibly exciting because for those of us who have always known this to be true, now we get to take part in helping others build a data and analytics ecosystem that enables success in their business endeavors.When people throughout the organization have access to high quality, actionable data, that’s when you see significant business transformation. You should be asking, “Is data making people in my organization more productive and is it helping people with their day-to-day challenges? And if so, am I happy with how it’s going?” If the answer is yes, you’re on a great path. If the answer is no, we can help get you there.David Fussichen: I take a bit of a broader view. We’re playing a role in a millennia-scale transformation in the way humanity tracks information and uses data that started even before ancient civilizations sought to track their grain production.We’re riding a wave of technological innovation focused on using data to drive business value. The confluence of a hyper-connected and hyper-competitive world, the breathtaking advances in technology, and the explosion in the scale of available digital data provides a huge challenge for organizations and a generational opportunity for companies like Analytics8 that aim to help organizations navigate and thrive in the age of data.I think there’s so much we can do to make the world a better place if we use data in the right way and I feel lucky that we’re a part of it.