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How does our brain process data and why we have to increase data literacy rate? Watch Infogr.am co-founder and CEO Uldis Leiterts talk at TEDx Riga.

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For four days, 14 journalists from North Rift  Kenya came together for a data journalism workshop led by Internews data journalism trainers Eva Constantaras and Dorothy Otieno.  They investigated how to produce more in-depth stories on health and education topics through data journalism.

We were happy to contribute free Infogr.am Pro accounts to participants who went on to produce their own data visualisations following the training. The distance from Kenya’s open data community in Nairobi makes it challenging for journalists from rural areas to produce data stories after such workshops because of access to data, trainers and editors, who provide the training, mentoring and support needed to produce data journalism.

Here are some of the outcomes:

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Webinar: Data visualisation from A to Z with Infogr.am and Import.io from Infogr.am on Vimeo.

Here comes the video recording from our first webinar in collaboration with Import.io. Together we have uncovered the most expensive teams in football. Learn the super easy way to extract and visualise data from the web in no time.


We had about 1 thousand people watching it live from all over the world. Here is your chance to catch up!

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We are happy to announce growing our team with the addition of a new Chief Operating Officer, Mikko Jarvenpaa

Previously in his career Mikko was a Product Marketing Manager at Google, and has worked with technology startups in Silicon Valley and in Europe alike, recently as the Chief Marketing Geek for HackFwd. He has graduated from London School of Economics.

"I’m very excited to lead the operations at Infogram," Mikko says. "The team’s hard work is paying off and the company is seeing rapid growth and excellent customer demand. To date we have over 1.1 million users worldwide, and our freemium product is getting some exciting updates aimed at our most active users. I’m happy to be able to contribute to making the company even better and to delivering a great experience to our customers." Mikko has known Infogr.am for a while, having been an advisor to the company since the HackFwd days.

Five Questions With The COO

1. What is a COO and what do they do?

The Chief Operating Officer role is very contingent on the company and its management needs. COO is usually the CEO’s number one general, and should complement the skillset and focus areas of the CEO. The title carries the word “operations”, which implies that a COO is responsible for running the day-to-day business processes, but it should be kept in mind that we have inherited these titles and names of roles from the traditional manufacturing and services businesses. For a tech startup, day-to-day processes can mean something entirely different than they would for a blue chip manufacturing company. So while there is no exact answer to what a COO does, their number one requirement is to form an exceptional team with the CEO.

2. When should a startup add a COO?

Like implied before, it depends. It depends a lot. A COO can be very useful for freeing the CEO’s and the founder’s time for more external activities and strategic work, for example. Another example would be adding skills and experience to the upper management without disrupting the organization – I think you’ll find a couple of famous examples of this in the startup world.

3. What previous experience are you building on as Infogram’s COO?

All of it! Probably the most important previous experience has been from running my own companies, but all of my professional past builds on the stellar opportunity I had with Google as Product Marketing Manager for AdWords and partnership marketing. And actually, my experiences from a stint as the tour manager for a Finnish heavy metal band have been surprisingly applicable to the COO role. A tour manager has to get all obstacles out of the way of the artists and in any way necessary help them deliver a great performance to the audience. And the better the show, the more t-shirts and CDs we sold, of course, which was important because touring Europe with a hard-partying band was not cheap.

4. What will be your biggest challenge?

The challenge is always the same: maximizing the output from limited resources – whatever the resources, and however you define output. We are seeing a great growth and have an amazing base of users and customers. We want to deliver the best data visualization product, and we’re also looking far ahead with some great products in the pipeline. And we are of course looking for more talent in both Riga and San Francisco.

5. Who do you admire professionally?

I have been fortunate to work with many amazing people, but in this context, Sheryl Sandberg comes topmost to mind. During my early days at Google, I was a part of the AdWords Operations team, which she lead. Even before her leadership at Facebook, her management of Google’s advertising operations was stellar, and I have also admired her continued championing of a more balanced working culture. As an anecdote, I think Sheryl lead the first meeting I attended at Google, fresh out of college in early 2003. We were out of chairs in the meeting room at AdWords Operations (chronic for a company in hypergrowth), and, if memory serves, she sat cross-legged on the long table in one end of the room and spoke of how the number one value in hiring people in her department were teamwork skills. Google was an impressively energetic place especially back then, so to have been that impressed by her energy says much.

Infogram is hiring in both Riga and San Francisco. See our open positions here.

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We are super excited to have our good friends over at import.io, platform for getting structured data from any website, join us for our first Webinar on Thursday, 7th August, 5pm - 6pm GMT. (Click here to see the time in your time zone)

By combining our data forces we will show you how to gather data using import.io and integrate it into a cool, bold data visualization using infogr.am. Together we will uncover who the most expensive teams in football are.

We have limited spaces so sign up now, and don’t hesitate to tell your friends.


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Every time we go somewhere we meet wonderful people doing awesome data visualization projects, and great startupers with sparkles in their eyes interested in our startup experience. It’s a pity these people often don’t meet each other.

We happen to be in Istanbul in a week and decided to throw a meetup on July 21st in Yazane coworking space at 18.00.

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