Unfortunately, dear reader, there are times when you should not read the Amplitude blog. When you’re driving, operating heavy machinery, or doing something that requires two hands and focus (like eating ice cream), it’s best not to be reading a blog. In these extreme situations, the only way to get your analytics fix is with your ears. To help you with this, we’ve broken down our five favorite analytics podcasts. [Tweet “5 Best #Analytics Podcasts”]
An analytics podcast with real character, Partially Derivative is a must-listen. The style of each episode they release varies, but their content is always focused around the role of data in our daily lives. Their episodes have two general formats. In one, they interview experts in the field of analytics, like data scientists from Google or ProPublica. In the other, they take complicated, business-related analytics subjects and break them down into humorous podcasts. One such episode, “Excel Func Gonna Give It To Ya,” featured the following description:
“This week’s episode was produced by Alex Bouthillier at Apollo Media. Jonathon learns breakfast is a sham, Chris embraces the quantified burrito, and Vidya reveals what we’ve known all along, data science proves that drinking is fun.”
[source: Partially Derivative] If you’re interested in looking at how analytics forms the world around us, as in the case of quantified burritos, as well as in how analytics can power your business, give Partially Derivative a listen.
2. Data Stories
One of our most compelling tools for finding insights in data and communicating them is data visualization. A good visual representation of our data can make it approachable, and turn an unreadable mess of numbers into an understandable model. [source: Data Stories] Data Stories is all about data visualization. They work with data scientists to review the coolest data visualization projects in the world, and analyze how and why they work. In one episode, they detailed a project to create data maps for New York City according to its open data. This resulted in the removal of a fire hydrant that caused $55,000 a year in parking tickets, and a variety of other cool initiatives. If you’re interested in data visualization, or if you just like hearing about some of the more creative data projects going on today, stop by the Data Stories page.
InsightSquared is a sales performance analytics platform, and their podcast RAMP is all about using analytics to grow your SaaS business. They bring on sales specialists, data scientists, and other analytics experts who have experience growing data-driven SaaS companies. For example, a recent RAMP episode with Steli Efti of Close.io, tackles churn in SaaS companies, and how limiting churn begins with training your sales team to disqualify leads. Because SaaS products happen on a subscription basis, according to Steli, you can only afford to sell to customers who will be successful with your products. Otherwise, customers will churn after trying your product out, and you’ll have wasted all those resources acquiring them.
Machine learning and big data are two ideas that most people have heard of, and very few people understand deeply. Katie Malone, an experimental physicist, and Ben Gaffe, an educator and developer, want to change that. Their show, Linear Digressions, is all about making machine learning and big data approachable, without giving up any academic rigor. One such episode is about neural nets, the complex machine learning models that try to simulate neural networks in the human brain. The episode, titled “Neural Nets Play Cops And Robbers,” focuses on the benefits of using two neural nets together, which they explain like this:
One neural net is creating counterfeit bills and passing them off to a second neural net, which is trying to distinguish the real money from the fakes. Result: two neural nets that are better than either one would have been without the competition.
[source: Linear Digressions] Linear Digressions takes some of the least approachable subject matter and turns it into powerful, accessible insights for business owners.
Originally conceived at a bar after an analytics conference, the Digital Analytics Power Hour is a podcast dedicated to giving companies actionable advice on digital analytics. Each episode functions as an open forum, where hosts and guests are invited to reflect on a specific topic for an hour. The topics range from very specific business practices like A/B testing, to the future of analytics in general, to industry-specific concerns like gender equality in the digital analytics industry. [source: Digital Analytics Power Hour] If you’re an analytics and business junkie, this is your podcast. The shows are deeply informative, but intentionally function as casual conversations. Listening in is like sitting around listening in on conversations at a bar, except the people you’re listening to are all analytics geniuses.
That does it for our top five analytics podcasts, but there are many more. Analytics is a huge field, and these podcasts are just the tip of the iceberg. Have a podcast you think we should have mentioned? Let us know in the comments!
Alex Birkett: -Data Skeptic - this guy and his wife have conversations about various data topics (anything from p-values to predictive policing) and because his wife is not an trained analyst, they put it in a way that’s easy for anyone to understand.
Archana Madhavan: Thanks for the suggestions! I’m definitely going to check out Data Skeptic. I love podcasts that take complex subject matter and explain it in a simple way (without losing too much of the nuances).
Ginette Methot: I think Data Crunch needs a mention here! It’s about how data and prediction change our world wrapped in a human narrative.