Business Radio from the Wharton School

This week the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School launched Business Radio on SiriusXM. They’ll be broadcasting 24/7 from the Wharton Campus as well as Silicon Valley. Hosts will include professors and alumni and guests will feature executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Their programming looks interesting and promises to “cover every aspect of business in an informative,

Wharton Busines Radio Logo LargeWharton Busines Radio Logo Large

PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship

PrivCo announced the award of their first annual PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship. This year’s winner is Ray Cruitt, Business Librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD. Ray was singled out by the PrivCo Prize’s judging panel for his contributions to the economic wellbeing of his served population: “his workshops on

PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business LibrarianshipPrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship

Casual Friday: BarkBox

Since I signed up for StitchFix and now have a personal shopper sending me goodies each month, it only seemed fair to get the dog his own special delivery. BarkBox sends your favorite canine a box of 4 or more treats and toys. All treats are sourced from USA and Canada. BarkBox prides themselves on

BarkBoxBarkBox

April’s First Stitch Fix

My first Stitch Fix arrived October 24. I was so excited to see the Stitch Fix box on my doorstep. Love how the box even matches the decor of my house! It was a small box that held 5 items and I couldn’t wait to tear into it. When I opened the box I pulled

Stitch Fix BoxStitch Fix Box

Casual…er…Monday: My Stitch Fix Has Arrived

My Stitch Fix has finally arrived! I placed my order at the beginning of October and it took about 3 to 4 weeks to arrive. Stitch Fix went from 10,000 clients in February to over 50,000 by October, so I’m guessing this is why it took a little longer to arrive. Luckily, they’ve recently received

stitchfix logostitchfix logo

50 Apps in 50 Minutes: Hat Trick

This is our third year in a row presenting 50 Apps in 50 Minutes at the Texas Library Association’s Annual Conference. If you missed our last two, you’ll find them here and here. A note on pricing and availability: it’s been our experience that prices for apps change often, so if you like something that’s a bit out of your budget, keep an eye on it as sometimes the prices drop temporarily or even permanently. Love something that’s only an iThing? We saw several notes along the way indicating that an app’s owner listed Android, etc. as “coming soon”. So make a note of what you like and you may see it soon on other platforms.

So without further ado, here are our 50 Apps for 2014:

1. Mr. Number Allows users to block calls from specific numbers. Will also identify/label business numbers.

2. Tile Locate anything you attach a Tile to using the Tile app.

3. Lasso Photo sharing app for smaller groups of friends.

4. Jifiti Browse your favorite stores and send a perfect gift instantly to your friends’ email, phone or Facebook page. They select the size, color and style, or choose anything else when redeeming in-store or online.

5. Forgotify Plays songs from Spotify that have never been played.

6. Washio Dry cleaning and laundry delivered to your door

7. Seratis Care coordination tool that is a secure, patient-centric mobile application which enables doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to communicate with each other via text, images, and videos.

8. SmileDrive: Records your drives and keeps track of things like location, distance, time and weather.

9. ReSound Linx: Hearing aids that connect to your iPhone.

10. Punchh Virtual loyalty card.

11. Wello Cell phone case that will track your vitals including blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc.

12. Chorma Household chore manager.

13. Kolibree Toothbrush app which checks regularity, monitors brushing time and tracks missed spots.

14. Fixed Helps you fight parking tickets.

15. DocuSign Sign contracts, invoices, insurance forms and rental agreements.

16. SitOrSquat Search, view and rate bathrooms.

17. Puppy Lost dog tracker.

18. Doctoralia Find a doctor, great for travelers in international cities. Also allows you to schedule an appointment.

19. Tynker Games to help kids learn to code.

20. Smart Traveler Real time travel alerts from the U.S. State Department.

21. HiConverter All sorts of conversions: international sizes, currency, tips, cooking, etc.

22. Split Helps you avoid unwanted encounters.

23. A-CHESS Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System. Assists recovering alcoholics.

24. PayNearMe Allows customers to pay bills via cash at Family Dollar & 7-11 stores.

25. RoomScan Measures room dimensions.

26. WhatsApp Cross-platform mobile messaging

27. Paper Facebook’s new app.

28. BillGuard Financial app that alerts you do recurring or suspicious credit card charges.

29. Dashlane Generates and stores passwords.

30. Penultimate Evernote’s handwriting app.

31. GAIN Fitness Provides exercises based on time and equipment available.

32. RetailMeNot Mobile coupons.

33. NoWait Restaurant hosting management app.

34. Cartwheel from Target Tag items in the store and a discount is applied at checkout.

35. Onavo Extend Compresses mobile data to save money on data plans.

36. Wickr Provides secure communications that Leave No Trace.

37. Jelly Q&A app using pictures, texts and drawing.

38. DollarBird Smart calendar for your finances.

39. QuizUp “The biggest trivia game in the world” Basically a Words with Friends style quiz game.

40. Cloze “Keep track of the people and posts that matter. Filter out the noise of everything else.”

41. Timehop “What were you doing one year ago today?”

42. Wonder Timer Preset timers for common activities.

43. Newsbeat Personal news radio–reads print and online news.

44. Fitbit Wearable fitness tracker.

45. Spritz Speed reading app.

46. SignNow Sign documents anywhere.

47. Uber Private car service.

48. Lyft Car-sharing service.

49. CloudGoo Connect all your cloud drives.

50. Printic “We print your memories.”

Business Radio from the Wharton School

Business Radio from the Wharton School

This week the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School launched Business Radio on SiriusXM. They’ll be broadcasting 24/7 from the Wharton Campus as well as Silicon Valley. Hosts will include professors and alumni and guests will feature executives, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Their programming looks interesting and promises to “cover every aspect of business in an informative, entertaining and approachable manner”, while appealing to  listeners from all different experience levels from CEOs down to mom-and-pop store owners.

A quick look at their programming looks really well-rounded from personal finance to women in the workplace to the goings-on in Silicon Valley. You can check them out on Channel 111 on SiriusXM and on Twitter @BizRadio111.

PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship

PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship

PrivCo announced the award of their first annual PrivCo Prize for Excellence in Business Librarianship. This year’s winner is Ray Cruitt, Business Librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD. Ray was singled out by the PrivCo Prize’s judging panel for his contributions to the economic wellbeing of his served population: “his workshops on financial literacy and economic development stood out for us as crucial in these times.”

The PrivCo Prize for Business Librarianship is awarded annually to the librarian deemed to embody best the core values of the profession, including engagement, innovation and education. PrivCo bases its selection on the recommendations of an independent selection committee of leading business librarians committed to the adoption of best practices in the community.

The 2013 runners-up are Hal Kirkwood of Purdue University’s Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics and Jared Hoppenfeld, Business Librarian and Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.

Congratulations to all the winners!

PrivCo is already accepting nominations for next year’s prize so nominate your favorite business librarian today.

Casual Friday: StitchFix #2

I just got my second StitchFix and this time it was perfect! I got a wrap dress (my favorite!), a pair of jeans, top, blazer and a bag. It was so on target that I bought all five pieces and got the 25% discount. My first box was a little disappointing but Jennifer at StitchFix really go my style. This time I got more color and more versatile pieces to add to my wardrobe.  The fit was also perfect. The jeans were even the right length so that saves a ton on alterations. The jacket was lined with a polka dot fabric but not bulky like the first one they sent. The only thing I didn’t love was the bag. It is definitely classic, but a little too classic for me. The discount made it cheaper to keep the bag than to send it back! I’m sure I can find a friend who will love it.

Outfits from StitchFix Box #2

My favorite thing about StitchFix is still the styling cards. It is so great to see two options for each item.

Here is the receipt so you can see all the prices. Everything was in the price range I had selected.

After this super positive experience I know I will definitely stay signed up for StitchFix. It is fun and I get new clothes without having to shop! I will have to work this into the budget thought since I’m usually not shopping for new clothes each month. We’ll see if I add enough different pieces to takes the place of the twice a year shopping sprees and stops at Target for little items. If it does, it could be financially prudent. If not, this could become a problem!

Casual Friday: BarkBox

Casual Friday: BarkBox

Since I signed up for StitchFix and now have a personal shopper sending me goodies each month, it only seemed fair to get the dog his own special delivery. BarkBox sends your favorite canine a box of 4 or more treats and toys. All treats are sourced from USA and Canada. BarkBox prides themselves on quality treats with minimal ingredients. You can sign up for 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months. The price of boxes goes down to $19.99 if you sign up for the 6 month plan. You only have to provide the size of your dog and pick your plan. BarkBox even contributes 10% of proceeds to rescue groups across the country. Love it and so does my rescue mutt!

Baxter received his first BarkBox this week and it contained 3 bags of treats and a fun new toy. He got truffle mac & cheese biscuits, duck jerky, and treats to clean his teeth. The toy was selected for a medium dog and it was pretty study but it was destroyed in 15 minutes. We don’t expect toys to last too long at our house. You can see from the action shot below that Baxter enjoyed the new toy and had a great time! After the squeaker was out I stuffed the toy with the treats and it got another round of play.

According to CrunchBase, the company has received $6.7 million in funding so far. They are making $1 million per month and they plan to become a $5 billion company within 5 years. Baxter would like us to help them with that goal!

April’s First Stitch Fix

April’s First Stitch Fix

My first Stitch Fix arrived October 24. I was so excited to see the Stitch Fix box on my doorstep. Love how the box even matches the decor of my house! It was a small box that held 5 items and I couldn’t wait to tear into it.

When I opened the box I pulled out 4 items of clothing and one necklace. Right away I loved the stripes, patterns, and polka dots, but thought “where is the color?” Hated the necklace straight off the bat. I don’t do anything sweet or romantic and that is clear in my style profile. No bees for me, thank you.

Stitch Fix #1 - 5 items

The best thing about receiving the items at home is that you get it try everything on with the clothes you already own. No forgetting you already have a pink shirt at home and buying another one just like it. Not that that has ever happened to me. I love the style cards that come with each piece too. The card makes sure you are not left on your own to decide what exactly to do with that item.

Here are the cards for the pieces. There were some fun ways to style the items and they each gave a casual and dressy option. It is almost like Garanimals for grownups.

Stitch Fix Style Cards

Taking the advice of Stitch Fix, I tried on all the items even if I wasn’t crazy about them out of the box. I loved the skirt and it was $68. I already owned the pink jacket and it was a perfect combo. I’ve since worn the sweater with a purple sweater. Two looks, so I’m glad I kept the skirt. Next up was the sweater. I love polka dots as you can see from my phone case, but seriously this sweater was so old lady librarian. Just what I said I didn’t want. The top was so close. It was a little more edgy and had an exposed zipper in the back. The fit wasn’t quite right and it was $98 so I just couldn’t bring myself to keep it. The jacket I tried on with two outfits because I was really trying to make it work. It was the right style, but it had shoulder pads and was heavily lined so it was bulky. So close on that item too.

Stitch Fix Outfits

I didn’t have quite the same luck that Laura had with hers. My coworkers also got their boxes the same week I got mine and each kept 3-5 items. I will admit it was a little disappointing, but the stylist looked at my Pinterest page and did a good job of picking items I liked. But that is the problem. As I mentioned in the first post I was excited to get out of my rut. In my description I said my classic style can get boring and I wanted to mix it up a little. In the end I only bought one of the five items.  All in all it was a great experience and I still love the concept. I’m excited to give it another try – my next box arrives around November 20. Hopefully this time I’ll get a few items I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself.

Casual…er…Monday: My Stitch Fix Has Arrived

Casual…er…Monday: My Stitch Fix Has Arrived

My Stitch Fix has finally arrived! I placed my order at the beginning of October and it took about 3 to 4 weeks to arrive. Stitch Fix went from 10,000 clients in February to over 50,000 by October, so I’m guessing this is why it took a little longer to arrive. Luckily, they’ve recently received a $12 million funding round, so presumably this will allow them to add some additional stylists. Last month April described how the service works, so I’ll skip right to the results.

I had my first Fix sent to my office which made it even more fun as all my coworkers gathered around to check out (and vote on) my choices. All in all, I felt like my box was a great mix of things that were right up my alley and things I may not have picked for myself. Getting out of a style rut was one of my motivations for giving personal shopping a try. I explained in my Stitch Fix profile that I worked in an office where we were business casual every day, that I loved retro 60s style and that my office was always cold. My Fix included: two sweaters, one skirt, skinny jeans and a great retro-style dress. Every piece came with a small card attached showing different ways to wear it.

When you set up your profile you can set a budget for different items. For instance, I picked the lowest price range for accessories but higher amounts for dresses and jackets. Stitch Fix takes 25% off your order if you buy everything in the box and since I was pretty happy with everything, it was a pretty good deal. I averaged about $57 for each piece which was well within the budget I set for work clothes. Below I’ve included a copy of my invoice along with a note from my stylist. If I remember correctly, I chose a mid-range price for most things so you could go higher or lower. You always receive your initial $20 styling fee off one of the items. And you can return what you don’t like at no charge. You also get a personal referral link to share with your friends which saves you $25 when they sign up.

And the best part? Going to work on Monday morning in your new duds! Stay tuned later in the week to see April’s results.

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index

Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index

What U.S. city has the best work environment?  How have the happiness levels of the U.S. changed through “The Great Recession”?

The Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index tries to answer these questions by daily surveying 1,000 people 7-days a week.  The assessment first started on January 2, 2008, and the project’s goal is to collect data for 25 years.  Currently, there are over 5 years of data—enough to start identify and evaluate trends.  The study is a collaboration between the polling firm Gallup and the healthcare solutions company, Healthways.

The Well-Being Index is an average of six major factors:

  • Life Evaluation—how a person compares their present situation to future situation
  • Physical Health—BMI, disease, six days, physical pain, etc.
  • Emotional Health—experiences of smiling, enjoyment anger, happiness
  • Healthy Behavior—lifestyle habits including
  • Work Environment—job satisfaction, supervisor’s impact, ability to use strengths
  • Basic Access—access to food, shelter, healthcare and a place to live

The homepage presents an overview of the indexes in a stock-chart type format.

The Findings tab provides much more detailed results including descriptions of trends, demographic breakdowns, and the highest and lowest performing cities.  Much of this data was summarized after the 1 millionth survey was completed in 2010, but the link for City, State and Congressional District Well-Being Reports contains summarized data from 2012.

The site has fine-grained data not found anywhere else and contains interesting visualizations, such as this image from the 2012 Composite Report showing composite well-being data by metro area:

Gallop Healthways Map

Charts and visualizations used on the site can sometimes over-emphasize differences.  The scales changes on each chart—and sometimes skip sections (such as on the “Daily Pulse” chart).  The chart below—the Emotional Health Index—only show 3 percentage points, so it looks like we’ve made a huge jump up since 2009.

Gallop Healthways Well-Being Index

However, since these surveys are representative of the entire united states, just a 1% increase or decrease means 3.1 million people.

Numbers from the Gallup Healthways Well-Being index are used by other Gallup Reports, such as this report on the number of uninsured in the U.S., and in major news sources.  Or you could use this data to help find a new city to live in!

P.S. Lincoln Nebraska was the top city for Work Environment in 2012 (and the city with the highest overall wellbeing), and levels of emotional well-being dipped during the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, but have risen again almost to pre-recession levels.

Guest Blogger: Kari Beets is the Graduate Research Assistant for Business at the University of Texas Libraries. She completes her MSIS program at the UT Austin School of Information in May 2014.

Economic Indicators—By City

Economic Indicators—By City

I received a research question recently on comparing employee turnover in a specific industry between two cities.  After searching the BLS, Statista, Factiva and Business Source Complete (for any mention of data sources), I finally found a link from a Chamber of Commerce site to the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators that provided the detail of information I was looking for.

The Quarterly Workforce Indicators have been around since 2006 and are collected through a federal-state program known as the Local Employment Dynamic (LED) partnership.  Data points include number of employees in a given quarter, hires, separations (quits and fires), and monthly earnings.  These can be sorted by geography, industry, or worker demographics.

Quarterly Workforce Indicators can be accessed through QWI Online and the LED Extraction Tool.

QWI provides tabs and dropdowns to choose your specific characteristics.  To filter by a more specific industry, click on the “Information by Detailed Industry” link.  You can download the data into Excel one quarter (or industry) at a time.

The LED Data Extraction Tool is more user-friendly and allows you to choose the specific data for the report.  It allows you to include multiple cities, industries and indicators to export all at once.

However, when you export the data into Excel it is quite messy.

With a little data sorting, you can get a chart like this:

QWI  is a great resource for finding workforce trends at the local level!

Guest Blogger: Kari Beets is the Graduate Research Assistant for Business at the University of Texas Libraries. She completes her MSIS program at the UT Austin School of Information in May 2014.