3 Ways to Get More Meaning from Data

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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.

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How To Win Your First Product Management Job

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Nice work. You just scored an interview for a product manager position—one of the hottest and highest-paying roles right now according to Glassdoor. Companies know that product managers play a key role in their success or failure. And they are making sure that hiring the best is a top priority.

You probably have no idea what to expect from this first interview—especially if you are trying to transition into the field from engineering or marketing. How can you pivot into this new role? What qualities are they looking for, and how should you present yourself?

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The Simulated Startup: Meet the Innovative Startups Inside Mammoth Companies

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MasterCard employee demonstrates ShopThis! with MasterPass which will allow consumers to buy products directly from Intel’s Virtual Shopping Experience – a fully interactive 3-D virtual fitting room app at MasterCard’s Innovation Showcase event.

“Agile methodology,” “failing fast,” “pivoting”—all concepts commonly used in startups—are increasingly being put to work inside the walls of large, well-established companies. This is because executives at Fortune 500 companies have realized that the natural limitations that face startups—limitations on time and financial resources—can actually be boons, resulting in fresh ideas and fast execution.

So a handful of large public companies, including General Electric (GE) and MasterCard, have created startups within their own mammoth companies. In 2013, GE created FastWorks, an internal startup entity. Its mission was to develop products using the “lean startup” approach, codified by Eric Ries in his book, The Lean Startup. (This means constantly experimenting and regularly getting feedback from customers to avoid building products that customers don’t want.)

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4 Mental Blocks Preventing You From Landing Your Dream Job (and How To Get Over Them)

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In today’s ever-changing economy, searching for a job is hard work. The number of jobs, types of jobs, and even pathways into jobs are transforming at a pace that can feel impossible to keep up with. Add the desire to find a career that feels meaningful and fulfilling, and the job search can becoming a maddening task.

The path to a successful job search often starts with your own mindset. Consider how you think about yourself, your options, and the process to landing a job. These answers will help you form the foundation for the results you can achieve.

As a coach, educator, and practitioner, I work with clients to help them overcome common mental hang-ups that may be preventing them from landing their dream job.

Below are four of the negative mindsets that I see most often, and strategies you can use to overcome them.

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Four Ways Studying Abroad Can Advance Your Career

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If you’re a high school or college student interested in studying abroad, you’re probably familiar with the more obvious “pros.” You’ll have the opportunity to explore a new place and culture, of course, and it’s easy to see how broadening your horizon would lead to a wider, valuable new perspective. But did you realize that studying abroad could also help to advance your career?

More and more employers are recognizing the benefits of studying abroad and are actively seeking out candidates with study abroad experience. Here are four reasons why studying abroad can help advance your career.

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5 Key Steps to Learning From Failure

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When we hear or say the words “fail” or “failure” in relation to all things tech, we generally conjure up images of locked doors, garage sales of office supplies, empty chairs and desks, and a battle for the best developers who are now on the job market. But there’s more to it than that, and in every startup failure, there are more details than most of us will ever know about because we weren’t there. We can only watch from the sidelines and make armchair quarterback calls about what we would have done differently.

But how do we actually learn from failure? It’s too often a platitude like “we only learn when we fail,” but that doesn’t help the person or startup that just failed. What we need is a tangible process or exercise to walk through – painstakingly – to make sure that we do indeed learn from each and every failure, regardless of how small or how epic. That process is outlined below. Continue reading

How to Say “No” to Your CEO’s Random Product Ideas

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Here is how it happens. You see the CEO in the hallway and he stops you. He then says, “I was thinking about this the other day—I have a great new idea for a feature.” You nod politely and walk back to your desk—feeling sick to your stomach along the way.
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Top 10 Blogs For User Experience Designers

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User experience is an industry that is constantly evolving. Whether you’re a new practitioner or a seasoned veteran it’s important stay up-to-date on the latest conversations and ideas happening in the industry. So how do you stay updated and relevant? Here’s a clue: you’re doing it right now. Reading blogs is a quick and easy way to remain current. Below you’ll find some of my all-time favorite user experience design blogs; including established industry leaders as well as niche blogs discussing innovative topics.

With no further ado and in no particular order, find our top 10 user experience design blogs:  Continue reading

What Makes for Great Product Design?

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User experience (UX) design separates a good product from a great product.

Harnessing skills like user research, wireframes, and prototyping, UX designers have a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the interactions between users, business goals, and visual and technology elements. For companies, their work fosters brand loyalty and repeat business. For consumers, it means frustration-free online experiences, intuitive mobile apps, efficient store layouts, and more.

Watch below, as design experts from The New York Times, PayPal, Zola, and other top companies share how they design simple, user-friendly, and beautiful products.

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