The Data Chief
The Data Chief
Aug 25, 2021
Four Must Read Books for Data and Analytics Leaders with Randy Bean, John Thompson, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, and Doug Laney
Play • 1 hr 12 min

As we wrap up Season 2 of the Data Chief Podcast, It’s time to once again thank all of our listeners for tuning in and sending Cindi your ideas, and to all of our awesome guests who willingly shared their time and insights along the way.  

This season The Data Chief shared stories such as Sol Rashidi, CAO Estèe Lauder Companies, about how she starts every day by reading for an hour.  Or from Season one, Alberto Rey Villaverdo, Executive Director of Advanced Analytics at VirginMedia, about how he reads an hour or more every single day. It’s those stories that have inspired this special end-of-season episode.

In this podcast, Cindi is joined by four distinct authors with must-read books, two new that are new to bookshelves, and two that are time-tested. Be sure to check out the companion blog on for other books Cindi recommends as well.

In this episode you’ll hear from 

Key Takeaways

  • From Randy Bean, Developing a data culture is an ongoing process: Becoming data-driven or developing a data culture is not a destination, it's an ongoing process that never truly ends. In fact, the most sophisticated data companies are often the most worried about how they’re doing. This mindset of continued iteration and improvement is what fuels innovation. When you feel like you have it all figured out, think again.
  • From John Thompson, When building an analytics team, hybrid models deliver the best of both worlds: Although more complex than other organizational models, hybrid data teams allow you to meet the needs of your business in a faster, more scalable, and more effective way. How? At any given time, high-volume data professionals will be focused on repetitive tasks like data acquisition, data integration, feature engineering, modeling, and feeding data objects up the chain, while artisanal data scientists directly interface with the subject matter experts embedded across various lines of business. 
  • From Cole Knussbaumer Knaflic, Shape data stories with your audience in mind: When presenting data, it’s important to understand who your audience is. What do they care about? How will this information impact them? What action should they take after receiving it? Tailoring your data story to them and building a narrative arc that takes them along for the journey is key to creating the kinds of a-ha moments that stick.
  • From Doug Laney, Data monetization requires innovative thinking: For many organizations, the value of their data outweighs the value of the rest of their business. Instead of focusing on the limitations of regulations like GDPR or HIPPA when going to monetize it, try to think outside the box. Can your data help you develop a new product or service? Can it forge a partner relationship? Can you sell a derivative of it? The possibilities are limitless.


The Data Chief is presented by our friends at ThoughtSpot. Searching through your company’s data for insights doesn’t have to be complicated. With ThoughtSpot, anyone in your organization can easily answer their own data questions, find the facts, and make better, faster decisions. Learn more at

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