Update 5/2/17: This post has been updated with three new podcasts, and a few links have been fixed.
If you’re like me, you try to start the morning by reading about industry trends. The more informed you are, the better your work will be.
If you’re like me, you actually start the morning opening and answering emails, responding to social media messages, checking the calendar for the upcoming weeks, and prepping for the 11:30 meeting, which, by the way, is in five minutes.
Time flies when you have good intentions.
The solution to staying apprised of industry trends while getting everything else done? Podcasts. You can download the same timely information that’s generally read on online articles, listen to it on your device on the way into work, and start the day before you’re at the job.
To help with this, I’ve assembled the top 14 business intelligence podcasts that can turn your commute into a resource. They’re in no particular order, as disorganization scares me, and Halloween was yesterday.
Renee Teate’s podcast (and blog) chronicles her journey from data undergrad to paid data scientist. It’s a great example of someone teaching by sharing how they learned. There’s a particular focus on mentoring and finding data science work, with input from everyone from the data scientist who was “the first Mexican woman to get a PhD in physics from Stanford,” to the author of Guerrilla Analytics.
2. Data Stories
Who’s interested in data visualization?
You should be, too, because data visualizations are the quickest way to tell a story with your data. Data Stories provides great examples of just such stories. Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner’s brainchild has, to date, an impressive 85 episodes on everything from the distribution of Olympic medals to the effect of statistics on empathy.
This one’s targeted at small and medium enterprises, but the topics are educational for anyone interested in the business applications of data. Or just data science, for that matter: the podcast’s most recent episode, “The Minimum Required by a Data Scientist,” discusses skills necessary to any data scientist.
Since this podcast is from IBM, it’s focused on enterprise-size businesses. However, the insights about the sheer range of things data and analytics will revolutionize makes it worth a listen. There’s a lot of valuable information here about the role analytics can play in the public sphere, from cyber security to police body cameras to IBM’s ambitious plans to bring Watson to Wall Street.
This is the first BI/big data blog or podcast I’ve run across that made a Terminator joke. That is, indeed, Cyberdyne Systems’ fabled T-800 model, and Dr. Richard M. Golden, of the Learning Machines 101 podcast, you, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.
He’s also the creator of a helpful podcast. Interested in AI, machine learning (basically a rebranding of AI), or what it can do for you? Learning Machines 101 will fill you in. Even the About page delivers useful info about big data’s everyday uses (I had no idea it was being used to make “smart” artificial limbs for wounded veterans).
Linear Digressions is about issues in the world of big data, machine learning, and AI.
Their most recent post (as of my writing) is on one of their staff’s contribution to the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot program, an attempt to use big data to treat cancer. Ever wondered how Amazon or Google can make hilariously wrong guesses about what you might be interested in? They’ve got a podcast on that, too.
O’Reilly has a range of useful big data-related podcasts (check the bottom of this page for the list), but if you’re interested in BI, you’ll want to check out the Data Show. The topics have more to do with the business applications of big data (that is, business intelligence). Data Show is also useful if you’re starting off in trying to understand what BI is, and what it does in the real world. For instance: you may not know R from Python, but you’re probably interested in how self-driving vehicles avoid crashing.
Twimlai offers great information, but it’s also frequently updated. That may not sound like much, but a lot of podcasts peter out after awhile. Instead, twimlai will keep you up to date on the technology that powers everything from Netflix recommendations to suggestions on Quora.
A lot of the podcasts on this list take a broad approach to the technologies that make BI possible (AI, machine learning, etc.) Analytics on Fire is more focused on the business applications of those technologies. Their most recent podcast discusses the ever-present threat of failed implementations: if you buy business intelligence software, how can you make sure your employees will use it? That podcast has some good answers to the question.
I love it when podcasts think from the listener’s point of view. Rather than sticking to 40-50 minute episodes, Linh and Kyle Da’s guide to data combines standard long-form casts with shorter, 10-15 minute definitions and explanations of basic concepts and terms. It’s sort of like data Sesame Street, alternating between short, controlled bursts of learning, and the longer narrative segments with the muppets.
11. Talking Machines
Business intelligence is all about asking the right questions to turn data into answers. Katherine Gorman and Ryan Adams’ podcast asks the right questions about machine learning to help you understand how business intelligence works.
This podcast is more focused on data science than strict business intelligence, but there’s a lot of valuable content about what people are using data science for these days (hint: EVERYTHING). This one is full of data science in action stories, like robot bartenders, how data science helped the city of San Diego, and even how data science is helping discover new particles at CERN.
Heads up: Partially Derivative is heavily left-leaning, so have your bias-alert on as you listen. There’s interesting information, just know where they’re coming from.
Want to take a graduate-level business intelligence course, but don’t want to pay? Or fly to Australia where Dr. Rob Meredith teaches? Well, Mr. and/or Ms. Niche Demographic, you’re in luck! Monash University’s own Dr. Meredith has made his lectures available on iTunes. If you’re looking to learn the basics of topics like data governance and data modeling, this course is a great place to start.
Digital Analytics Power Hour wins for best title and best concept. It wins best title for what I hope are obvious reasons, and concept for its unorthodox take: since the best conversations are usually 1) informal and 2) over drinks, hosts Michael Helbling and Tim Wilson decided to transfer this relaxed atmosphere to a podcast about the button-down world of data analytics. Episodes cover everything from how to sell a decision-maker on digital analytics to how to handle things as a one-person analytics team.
Podcasts I missed
If you listen to (or run) a business intelligence or data science podcast I missed, please let me know in the comments below!
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