By on September 18th, 2014 | Comment on this post

“If you’re going to hire an analyst, hire the one that’s doing the Sudoku puzzles in the waiting room,” says Jim Sterne of eMetrics Summit. But, he says, it’s not all about the numbers.

In his presentation at’s Brands-Only Summit, Jim talks about the human side of social media analytics. He focuses on the role an analyst should play within a company and the qualifications they should have to turn social data into effective business practices.

Here are some key points:

  • Tell stories instead of reports. Jim advises analysts to skip over the nitty-gritty numbers. Instead, get right to the insight by focusing on customers and business objectives.
  • Be careful. Jim acknowledges that humans love to find patterns and make assumptions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of traps the brain can fall into when it comes to processing data. He warns analysts not to confuse correlation with causation or to give in to cognitive bias.
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By Shani Magosky on September 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

Getting caught up on my never-ending stack of periodicals on a cloudy Sunday morning, I read with delight and admiration about’s creative approach to allowing pets at work — hardly surprising, it’s called Puppyforce.

But the cute name is not what differentiates it, and permitting pets at the office is not necessarily a new perk. What stands out to me is the strategically innovative way in which Salesforce went about designing their version of this employee benefit and the bona fide emphasis placed, in general, on building a highly engaged workforce.

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Puppies for Success

Fortune magazine’s Christopher Thaczyk describes how Puppyforce took shape via discussions on Chatter, the company’s enterprise social networking platform (think Yammer but tied to the Salesforce CRM). Incorporating feedback from employees concerned about allergies, hygiene and noise, Puppyforce ultimately took shape as a separate soundproof workspace with rubber floors and a reservation system.…

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By Adam Holden on September 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

tablet on white background. Isolated 3D imageReading Todd Finley’s recent article, Helping Diverse Learners Succeed, I was struck by the power of the argument concerning characteristics of the cultural deficit model and what this means in small rural communities. For years now, here in the heartland, we have struggled to grasp the real impact of a lack of “cultural capital” on student learning, often associating it as a symptom of urban chaos, and therefore less relevant in a rural setting.

Adequately preparing pre-service teachers to work effectively with a diverse student population is a sizable challenge when you work in western Kansas! Students tend to come from small rural towns in this part of the state. Many of them have every intention to leave home for just enough time to earn their degree but then return to their roots and teach in the same school system just as soon as a suitable opening presents itself.

Relaying the need for them to become culturally responsive teachers can be a stretch at best, with many simply not seeing the relevance of such training to their particular circumstance.…

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By on September 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

You have worked hard to get to where you are and can rattle off significant times in your career that gave you great satisfaction. Perhaps you experienced a big promotion, dinner with the CEO or heading up a large successful initiative. Spend a moment thinking about one of those, and you will likely feel a wash of warm pleasure.

Congratulations. You know what makes you happy. Or do you?

Recent studies have shown that we significantly undervalue the more ordinary or mundane events in our lives. These events can also produce happiness even if they seem insignificant when they occur. We may not notice them since they are a part of our everyday experience.

Why do happiness and joy matter to your leadership? Happy leaders tend to be more productive at work, make better decisions, express more creativity and have better social interactions (among many other benefits). I think you can see how all of these things would impact your ability to be the best you can be at your craft.…

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By Britt Klontz on September 17th, 2014 | Comment on this post

The term “guerrilla marketing” is something you probably associate with outlandish stunts, like dropping a 600-pound ice block in front of a conference a competitor is hosting just to make a point, or painting a sewer to look like a coffee cup just to sneak your coffee brand into a customer’s subconscious awareness. Guerrilla marketing is great (or, um, evil) not only because it catches customers when they have their guard down, but because it also creates a much more physical connection to them in a way no TV ad can possibly do.

But you don’t need to go guerrilla in order to create this powerful connection. In fact, something very similar happens with excellent product packaging design, especially when that design incorporates an interactive social aspect that taps into a larger social media strategy to create campaigns that are tangible and interactive at every level. It’s something the world’s biggest and most powerful companies have known for years — but you don’t need a large packaging design or social media budget to create such powerful campaigns.…

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