Ritika Puri is a storyteller, business education consultant, and entrepreneur. She founded Storyhackers (a now two-person team) to help companies like Lean Startup Company, Dun and Bradstreet, LinkedIn, HubSpot, and Taboola to create stronger relationships with customers through awesome content and copy. Ritika teaches storytelling and content marketing courses for General Assembly in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Are you finding it hard to finally resolve to do something new in your career in 2016? Maybe you’re starting the year bogged down in endless work that you don’t enjoy. Or maybe you’re dealing with something more permanent, and you feel like you’ve lost an important spark in your career development.
Regardless of your situation, it’s important to take a step back and remember: everyone goes through these dips and spikes in their careers. Even more? The power is in your hands to course-correct and find the right path forward.
You need inspiration. But contrary to the popular saying, inspiration doesn’t just ‘strike.’ You need to go out and find it. Get in the right mindset for 2016 with the following TED talks.
If you thought the introduction of the commercial Internet changed mass media, take a look at what’s in front of you today. Behind the sites of your favorite newspapers and blogs (yes, even this one), publishers are using data to create better audience experiences. For anyone who has ever considered working with data as part of their career, there are now more opportunities than ever to bring media and data together. Here are some of the most important technologies to have on your radar.
Can data improve the future of our humanity? You better believe it. “Big data” is more than just big businesses. Every day, social impact groups are finding new and creative ways to act upon the information that they’re generating. They’re using data to surface new information, uncover underserved communities, and track performance over time. Here are 5 very different organizations that are using data, in new and creative ways, to improve the lives of people around them:
For many people, data feels like an avalanche of information. No matter how proficient we are with Excel, statistical software, SQL, or Google Analytics, it’s often tough to know where and how to take your first steps. Should you create a chart? Should you try to find a correlation between the trend you’re observing and revenue? How do you know whether your findings are statistically significant—and for that matter, what the heck is statistical significance?
At the end of the day, these questions are less intimidating than they seem. Data is a tool that human beings created for other human beings. As a result, it’s up to you to create your own constraints for analysis. You choose your terms. You choose the questions you want to answer. You choose the techniques that you want to deploy. You’re in control.
Here are three tips to help you wrangle your next report.
Never in my life would I have considered myself a data storyteller. While I had always been good at math — taking multiple levels of calculus throughout my years of high school, college, and grad schools — numbers didn’t really interest me. I was more interested in disciplines I felt were “solving real problems,” like sociology and government. Eventually, I majored in English because I enjoyed the challenge of interpreting and communicating complex ideas. Plus, someone once told me, “Girls can’t be good at math.”
As an entrepreneur, one of the most important investments I make is in my own learning. Having spent a year running a content marketing consultancy, I’ve learned more than I ever would have imagined about my clients’ pain points, the legalities of growing a new venture, and even accounting.
Across all of these disciplines, I’ve noticed the following the trend — that with the proliferation of data and the pace at which information moves, information is becoming increasingly more difficult to communicate.
For years, I thought that learning to code would give me a competitive edge as a founder. I’ve been self-teaching principles of data science and programming for years, to the extent that I can confidently work with developers. When my CTO Justin joined my team as co-founder, however, I came to a touch realization: I was wasting both of our time by figuring out how to become an “expert programmer.”
The best way to increase my value as an entrepreneur would be to learn design.
As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats. I’m my company’s chief accountant, salesperson, strategist, and product-builder. I’m responsible for making sure that my business stays thriving six months and six years from now. It’s exhausting, scary, and highly rewarding — all at once.
The biggest challenge that I face is that there are only 24 hours in the day. With 8 hours spent sleeping, I have very little time to be everything to everyone. I’m constantly in the trenches, working with my existing customers, which means that I have very little time to build marketing campaigns, guest blog, and build the infrastructure that I need to keep my business growing sustainably.