Category Archives: Work

Work

Break’s Over

So, after two blissful months of full-time, four-handed parenting, it’s time to head back to work. Kesa begins teaching Pilates again this coming week. Luckily, the studios she teaches at are right in our neighborhood and she’ll just be teaching a few hours each week at first to ease the transition. As for me, I’m starting a new job at the beginning of March. I’ll be ramping up, too, so it won’t be a total shock to the system, and I’ll mostly be working from home (we’ll see how that goes with Talvi in the other room), but as of March 4, I’ll be back at work.

Doing what? I’ll be the new Director of Business Intelligence at Upworthy.

If you’re like most people, you probably have three questions after reading that sentence: What’s Upworthy? What’s Business Intelligence? And how does one “direct” it?

Upworthy is a start-up founded by my friends Eli and Peter on the theory that the if the internet can make dumb cat videos go viral, it should be able to make meaningful content spread the same way. They’re a mission-driven social media company that wants to give you good stuff to watch that won’t leave you feeling icky. Stuff like this powerful video about bullying or the always awesome Senator Elizabeth Warren schooling a bunch of bank regulators or this beautiful love story. You can check out their full mission statement (with Venn diagrams) or these New York Times articles about them

The idea of business intelligence, in short, is to take the information that a business has at its disposal and use it to improve the business’s performance. These days especially, businesses are awash in data, but all that data doesn’t necessarily translate into knowledge. So business intelligence brings a bunch of tried and true methods for transforming both quantitative and qualitative information into knowledge–things like data warehousing, data mining, predictive modeling, controlled experimentation, and data visualization.

As for directing business intelligence, that just means that I’ll spend my time helping Upworthy’s staff organize their data, build systems to draw insight from it, and develop a culture that uses the resulting insights to improve on their performance. I’ll work to optimize what they’re already doing, spot new business opportunities, and support good, evidence-based decision-making. Should be fun!