Fireside Chat Predictive AnalyticsWelcome back to another episode of the Spin Sucks Fireside Chat.

Many of you already know my guest today. For those of you who don’t, I am thrilled to introduce you to him.

Christopher Penn and I became friends several years ago, from being on the speaking circuit together and showing up at the same conferences.

For a million years, I’ve been trying to get him to smile in photos with me—maybe we can get a grin or two out of him today.


Most recently, we’ve become even better friends as I have joined the advisory board of his new company, BrainTrust Insights.

I’ve been privileged to see a side of him that is rare and incredibly inspiring.

He is hands-down one of the smartest people on the face of this earth.

I always joke that I should follow him around the internet and explain in English what he means.

He has this crazy way of making your head explode (in a good way) and then you think, “I only understood about half of that, but I know I need it.”

And then you hire him and his team.

It’s a crazy great sales technique.

One I wish we all had.

You’re about to experience what I mean. 

The Fireside Chat: Predictive Analytics, AI, and Machine Learning

The questions I used as a frame for our conversation are below.

We talked about data, artificial intelligence, machine learning…and what happens when all of our jobs are taken over by robots.

  1. You and Katie Robbert have just opened a business together—BrainTrust Insights. Tell us what you do, why someone would hire you, and how you’re going to achieve global domination.
  2. One of the things I love that you do is predictive analytics. You made a joke about cheese and then did some analysis around it to discover when people will be talking about certain kinds later this year. Give us a look at that.
  3. We had a conversation in the Spin Sucks community about media monitoring. Everyone had the usual suspect recommendations, but you came at it from a different angle. You provided a link to the Google Queries to create your own monitoring. I do know every monitoring service around uses the Google API so it makes sense to dig into it yourself, But why would a communicator do that versus just buying software that does it for you?
  4. You’re a fan of both IBM Watson and Tableau. How can communicators use those tools to make their jobs more effective?
  5. You somehow manage to read 1,500 blogs and publications every week—and still run a business. How do you do it?
  6. Now it’s time for the speed round. The point is to answer with the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?
  7. What’s next?

My Favorite Parts of the Conversation

As you can imagine (if you know Christopher), there is a ton of gold in this conversation.

I’ve highlighted a few things below, without giving too much away:

  • How predictive analytics, driver analysis, and text mining all will save you tons and tons and tons of time.
  • What the two jobs of the future are—and what you can do now to prepare.
  • The three As of machine learning.
  • The only part of your job that cannot be replaced by robots.
  • How Monty Python helps with predictive analytics.
  • How communicators can use Google Big Query for media monitoring.
  • Truly how he reads 1,500 blogs every day—and a couple of ideas you can steal for your own.
  • How to build a highly engaged social following (that’s right…you can use data for that!).

Without Further Ado…The Fireside Chat

Enjoy the conversation…and let us know what you think!

(If you can’t view the video below, click here and you’ll be magically transported to YouTube to watch it.)

Next Month’s Fireside Chat

Our July guest will be Mitch Joel.

I invited him in my Blogging Journey article earlier this week, but haven’t confirmed yet that he can do July.

Let’s hope he can! If so, stay tuned for that on July 27.

We’ll talk how his blogging journey has changed since we watched him blog in Norway six year ago…and more.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich