The Business of Data is Tough. Conventional Data Leadership has a high rate of failure.

Excelling as a datapreneur has a lot to do about your approach to work, view of leadership, understanding of business/technology areas, and being resourceful.

Leadership is an honor, a privilege, and a deep obligation.

What type of a leader are you?

One of my all-time favorite articles on Leadership is written by Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

In it, Mr. Dimon discusses several hallmarks of a good leader, and most importantly, what stuck with me is his definition of Leadership itself.

"Leadership is an honor, a privilege, and a deep obligation. When leaders make mistakes, a lot of people can get hurt. Being true to oneself and avoiding self-deception are as important to a leader as having people to turn to for thoughtful, unbiased advice. I believe social intelligence and "emotional quotient," or EQ, matter in management."

You can read the original article here:
The Essential Hallmarks of a Good Leader

Why are you here

Do you wonder if there is a different way to grow your data leadership abilities?

You have tried going from conference to conference, from website to website, and from one search or the other on google.

You probably can relate to the following experiences:
  • Many ideas and best-practices seem theoretical or too generic. You are unable to validate the author's data leadership experience. Additionally, you are unsure if it will apply to your situation.
  • Content from vendors and product firms take a technology approach and do not address leadership challenges.
  • The material focuses on profoundly technical aspects or convoluted and lengthy processes with no relevance to data leadership.
  • The strategy and leadership segments of various data conferences provide leading insights but are limited in scope and applicability for your specific situation. 
Data leadership is different from data expertise. You need the help of someone who has walked a similar path.

When you find someone who can provide relevant insights, there is the challenge of availability, priorities, and vested interest. 

It would help if you had a peer who can ask you the tough questions, assist with course correction, provide you honest feedback, and one who has the time to share what they know.

All this without being judgmental, assuming, or withholding.

A tall order, until now.

Every unique situation requires differentiated strategies and solutions. 
Resourcefulness, more than resources, makes all the difference.


Suppose we were to take two leaders with identical backgrounds and put them in comparable roles, within similar companies in the same industry, with the same budget, authority, resources, opportunities, and challenges. In that case, they both will deliver different results.


While all things remaining constant, what matters are not the resources available, but the resourcefulness of an individual. 

Their ability to think, connect the variables, and develop creative solutions to their roles and opportunities is what differentiates leadership success.

The Datapreneurship Journey

Every leader takes a different path towards becoming a datapreneur. They get there based on their individual experiences, roles they grow through, the type of mentors they have, or the self-learning style adopted.

In general, the process I advocate consists of two tracks that culminate together in the final state.

  • During the first track, the individual going from an employee to an intrapreneur who can lead with focus, self-awareness, and conviction. This step does not require any title, position, or authority, but an internal drive and inspiration to lead independent of your level in the company, organization, or team.
  • In the second track, you transform your data and business expertise (tech/business skills related to strategy, data, analytics, and insights) to a position of data leadership to lead portions of data/business initiatives and programs.
  • The third step is where you bring in the combined effect for the two tracks to drive change, innovation, creative growth strategies, and pave the way for data-enabled transformation and for reinventing your business.


We know an Entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business with great initiative and takes risks in the process. But, who is an Intrapreneur?

An Intrapreneur is a person with a similar creative urge, drive, and passion and implements the ideas or initiatives within the organization or company.

An Intrapreneur must have a real focus on themselves rather than on innovation. When the people inside a company develop, innovation is a product of that transformation.

Primarily, this development is around the individual, company, and people dynamics.

To grow as an Intrapreneur, you will find that increased emotional intelligence, outward mindset, people intelligence, organizational savviness, finance, budgeting, negotiation, contracts, planning, delegation, other leadership skills, and your approach to work become critical.

  • Individual: Strengths, mindset, short-comings, inspiration, spirit of work, and focus areas
  • Company: Culture, support, risk management, ability to embrace change, and missteps
  • People: Team, peers, manager, stakeholders, and others

Data Leader

Data leadership is an excellent opportunity to drive change and lead the transformation. The complexity of the role and expectations are increasing as well.

In today's scenario, data is the fabric that connects business functions, processes, parties, stakeholders, and products.

If data is about defining, identifying, tagging, qualifying, or measuring all interactions between actor, action, and objects within the business context, to successfully lead and manage a data function, one must encompass the core data function itself.

Besides improving the leadership qualities, a data leader must focus on five core aspects to effectively lead with confidence, increase resourcefulness, and manage the leverage equation.

  • Business/Technology: The functions, people, systems, and processes that create data and that consume data-driven insights
  • Data/Analytics: The functions, people, systems, and processes that manage data and help create metrics, analytics, and inferences.
  • Governance/Controls: The functions, people, systems, and processes that establish the required safeguards and best practices to effectively and ethically run the company.
  • Strategic Process Innovation: The innate drive and action to better everything from its current state and not fall for "Don't improve it if it ain't broken" complacency.
  • Organizational Design/Talent: The set-up of the functions, teams, and individuals with the right association, ability, authority, adaptability, and bandwidth to effectively execute the vision.

Why do you need to be a Datapreneur?

Functioning as a Datapreneur broadens your capabilities, helps overcome limitations, and allows you to use the entire range of resources available across the organization to drive results. You transform into an outcome-focused leader.

  1. 1
    Leading with data is beyond data and business expertise and demands a different set of capabilities and thinking.
  2. 2
    What got you to where you are is not sufficient to guarantee success as a data leader. Your success will now be measured more in terms of influencing firm-wide change rather than creating localized change. 
  3. 3
    Depending on your career path, there are areas of strengths and blind-spots. What you don't know can hurt you more than the benefits from what you know. Collaborative team power becomes important than individual capabilities.

How can you get more from this site?

Inspired action is the starting point of all meaningful progress. Are you ready to act?


There are tons of information on the process and technology aspects of data and analytics. But not much on leadership. What do you want to know?


When you need focused guidance to take your career to the next level or a sounding board, discuss your challenges or opportunities.


If you are a data practitioner with your consulting practice and are interested in leveraging my expertise to help your client leaders improve their results.