Dr. Bridget Coughlin

President + CEO, Shedd Aquarium

Dr. Bridget Coughlin is the newly appointed CEO of Shedd Aquarium, Chicago’s most visited cultural institution for 18 of the last 24 years.

She comes to Chicago with a wealth of experience crafting data-driven stories at science and research institutions throughout the country.

Bridget served for five years as Managing Editor of the National Academy of Sciences’s world-renowned scientific journal before joining the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Programs.

Fast forward a decade and it’s easy to see why Shedd tapped Bridget to fill the shoes of 22-year CEO Ted Beattie when he retired in early 2016.

Bridget shares 5 tips for telling a story with data.

1. Everything is data. Constantly ask yourself “what can I learn?” “How can this teach me?”

2. Collect data intentionally. Otherwise you’ll end up with an overwhelming mountain of data and no idea what to do with it.

3. News you can use. You’re not done with your data until you distill it into something as simple and communicative as a haiku.

4. Data in the dark space. Data typically measures something that is present. How do you measure something that is absent?

5. Data points are individuals. In the age of big data it’s easy to forget that every data point has a unique story to tell. Try to remember.

Visit Shedd Aquarium.

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FIVEinSIXTY is our web series with thought leaders whose stories provide insights and inspiration for the next generation of go getters—our own little brainchild outside the wide variety of videos we produce for our clients.

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FIVEinSIXTY is our web series with thought leaders whose stories provide insights and inspiration for the next generation of go getters—our own little brainchild outside the wide variety of videos we produce for our clients.

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