Affiliated with:

Gilbert Eijkelenboom

Founder of MindSpeaking — The Human Side of Data

Turning Data professionals into excellent communicators.

What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?

I love data because we can use it to predict people’s behavior.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?

The success with my training program for data professionals. You can have the best insights, but all that matters is business impact. I designed the program to bridge the data — business gap. Also, I’m proud that my book (People Skills for Analytical Thinkers) became a #1 bestseller in multiple categories on Amazon. Fun fact: this happened a year after publishing.

What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?

The main challenges I see are not the data or the technology, but around psychology. Data is easy, people are complex. It’s more of an organizational challenge. People working in data and in business need to work together. They don’t only have a different skillset, but often a different personality too.

How we can address it:

  • Data literacy programs for the business
  • Helping data professionals understand the business and communicate their insights in an understandable and compelling way

How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?

More and more focus will be on how different teams can collaborate effectively. Many people have specialized jobs and rely on communication and collaboration with others to solve business problems.

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

I have onboarded a lot of big companies with my training program. I’m looking forward to expanding. Also, I will launch an online course that individuals can purchase.

What is the single best piece of advice you have received in your data management / IT career so far?  Why has it been so important to you?

Everything is about people. Data on its own doesn’t do anything. Working in data we need to help other people make better decisions. But if we don’t understand the goals of our stakeholders, and human biases in decision making, it’s hard to make an impact.

Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?

In the past I was a professional poker player. Already then, I was using data to optimize my decisions.

I love that I can still combine my two passions: data and psychology.

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