Hi, my name is Jacek and thank you for visiting my site. With over 10 years of experience working as Financial and Data Analyst for both corporate and startup companies, I am now happy to share my passion and knowledge of data and finance with other individuals and small business owners who need help with making sense of their numbers and articulating their business ideas.
Why I Started ChallengeJP
In short, I created ChallengeJP to help businesses grow and succeed, using data to fuel success.
Working with startups and small businesses is what I do best — my passion for data-driven success can help your business reach new heights. I can help you boost profitability, raise funds, and make the best decisions for your business, based on valuable data insights.
However, ChallengeJP isn’t just designed to help businesses. If you’re an individual wanting to develop your practical skills, I can help with all of your spreadsheet and data needs. With one-to-one Excel courses and tutorials and training in data analytics and financial modelling, I can help you take charge of your professional development.
How My Passion for Data Began
In the early 90s, my cousin introduced me to a pioneering spreadsheet program called Lotus 1-2-3 and I was instantly fascinated by its potential. I spent hours playing around with its capabilities, writing simple formulas, connecting cells and manipulating formula outcomes by changing certain inputs.
I’ve always been the computer whizz in my family, but after Lotus 1-2-3 sparked my newfound love for spreadsheets, I was able to do more than help my Grandpa scan photographs. I took on my Mom’s accounting work and using digital spreadsheets, helped her assess and track her finances.
Fast forward several years, I arrived in London after studying in the sunny state of California, at the University of California, Berkeley. Although I had loved my studies, I quickly realised my degree wasn’t landing me any job opportunities. I realised I needed practical skills that could bring value to companies, and that’s when I decided to turn my knowledge of spreadsheets into a profession. I brushed up my spreadsheet skills, became a Microsoft Excel pro and started a career as a Data Analyst.
My Career in Data: From Startups to Heathrow Airport to Yahoo!
One of my first jobs was at London Heathrow Airport, which as you can image, involved dealing with huge amounts of data. In this role, I took my knowledge of spreadsheets and data analysis to new levels, learning the advanced capabilities of Excel. This job was a fantastic, eye-opening experience, but I quickly realised I was craving a more exciting, dynamic work environment. So I opted to move on and begin work at a startup.
My official job title was “Business Analyst”, but in practice, I was the office “Excel guy”. Nevertheless, working with a startup company allowed me to work with creative entrepreneurs and take part in my first venture capital fundraise. I worked closely with the startup’s CFO, which eventually motivated me to develop my financial knowledge. And so I went on to pass the first level of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.
With more experience and relevant qualifications under my belt, I started to unlock more opportunities. When Yahoo! offered me a Senior Analyst position with relocation to Switzerland, I couldn’t say no. For a while, I loved working with this major, Fortune 500 company. However, the big corporate work environment just wasn’t for me — I missed the thrill of working with startups.
So when two of the founders of the startup I had worked with previously called to say they were working on a new venture in telecoms, I decided to join them. They were looking to raise over £100m, so my role involved taking the company public and creating complex financial models to capture the interest of investors. Working with another startup was a rollercoaster of challenges, but I loved every minute of it.
After the startup project, I decided to take another step forward and set up my own consultancy: ChallengeJP.
One of the smartest people that I have worked with
James Kaye, Director and Co-Founder at Big Ideas Machine
A very competent and detailed financial analyst
Peter Manning, Chairman of CityFibre Holdings PLC
Highly skilled in financial modelling and complex business case development
Andy Nash, Head of Public Sector and New Cities at CityFibre