Blog

Convert images to data with Plot Digitizer

You’re scouring the internet for data to prove your point…
After hours of searching, you finally found it!
One problem – it’s a chart in a pdf…

Charts are better than nothing, but you really want to have the numbers in Excel or Matlab so you can do analysis and get big insights (or at least make a nicer-looking chart).

The answer is Plot Digitizer

Continue reading “Convert images to data with Plot Digitizer”

Brand & Conquer: Building Your Personal Brand (Forbes)

business_brandingCheck out this post from my “PhD’s guide to consulting jobs” that got picked up by Forbes!

The first thing I do when I hear about a person is Google them to see what they’ve done. The Google search results for someone’s name tells a story, and you have the power to control yours.
It’s your brand: claim it.

Continue reading “Brand & Conquer: Building Your Personal Brand (Forbes)”

6 must-know shortcuts for faster PowerPoint

I spend lots of time making PowerPoint slides. To get my life back, I learned to make them very quickly.

Shortcuts, macros, and toolbars all speed up the brainless parts of slide-making. Here’s the 5 that everyone should know and use… They’ll get you 80% of the way there with minimal effort. If you want more, just ask. I’ve got a million of these!

The Tao of keyboard shortucts

Before I tell you my secrets, I want to to appreciate them! Here is the basic philosophy for getting the most out of shortcuts:

They don’t work if you don’t use them – learning them without using them is a waste!
Learning them is an investment – and it pays huge dividends in time saved later on.
Don’t touch your mouse – think as it of a game, practice makes you faster.

Bonus: on-lookers will be impressed and terrified by your skills, and you’ll and save your wrists by becoming a key-ninja (mixed metaphor with the whole Tao thing, I know)

Continue reading “6 must-know shortcuts for faster PowerPoint”

Question-Data-Action: Structure your work-plan

As I’ve transformed into a consultant over the last year I’ve started structuring everything… The trick always finding the right structure. Here’s a great one!

I recently worked with a colleague who uses a work-planning structure that breaks big, wide-open questions into actionable next-steps. The Question-Data-Action framework is thorough, thought provoking, and easy to communicate with 4 simple steps:

  1. Define key questions
  2. Refine to sub-questions
  3. Determine what data is needed
  4. Identify actions to get the data

Each step gets you closer to an actionable workplan that will make your life easier and help you communicate timing and deliverables with clients and colleagues.

Continue reading “Question-Data-Action: Structure your work-plan”

A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs

In this three-part series I’ll give you a how-to for getting an interview, preparing for it, and dazzling the interviewers once you’re across the table. These are the main topics we’ll cover:


Continue reading “A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs”

Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume

This is the first part of “A PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” because personal branding and resume building can help you the most! Having a great resume and a powerful personal brand is necessary to get in the door, and if you do it right, you may have the job before you even start talking.

First I’ll talk about how to build your brand, then I’ll share my tips on resume writing. Continue reading “Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume”

Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof

So far in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” we’ve covered how to work on your personal brand and write a resume that will get you an interview. Now, it’s time to get bulletproof for the interview itself.

Case interviews are an interview tool that consulting companies use to gauge your analytical skills. Essentially, the case interview involves answering an open-ended question about a business problem. The interviewer gives some background on a (hypothetical) company that needs help. Then the candidate talks through an analysis and solution.

I’m going to show you how to rock a case interview. Continue reading “Part 2: Preparing for Your Case Interview to Get Bulletproof”

Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass

We have talked about how to get an interview and how to nail the case section. The last step in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job” is discussing your personal experience in a way that is clear, compelling, and shows that you’ve got what it takes to be a consultant. Continue reading “Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass”

Making Active Contours Fast

Active contours are a method of image segmentation. They are well-loved for their accuracy, ease of implementation, and nice mathematical underpinnings. However, a full level-set implementation can be quite slow, especially when dealing with large data! Here are some tips to speed things up. By combining these ideas and solid programming techniques I’ve been able to get active contour trackers running at hundreds of frames per second!
Continue reading “Making Active Contours Fast”