- Strategies for Effective Data Leadership
- My Journey To Data Leadership
My Journey To Data Leadership
Hello, Current and Future Data Leaders! 🦖
This marks the 7th edition of Strategies For Effective Data Leadership!
What a tremendous milestone! (hardly) 🎉
To celebrate it, I though I’d use this edition to share more own story into data leadership. My path was not straightforward and I didn’t always know where I was heading. (I could have used this newsletter to tell you the truth).
I hope my story can motivate and inspire you in your journey!
In the Beginning 🐣
At university I studied finance and had originally hoped to get into banking, but due to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) it was very difficult to get onboard graduate programs with the banks so I took a different route.
I started my career on an Oil and Gas mega project in Australia as a business analyst assigned to help build a CRM tool for our social investment projects.
This role transitioned into a data analyst role reporting on the data generated as part of our social investment initiatives.
In 2015, I was made redundant from that role as the overall project wrapped up. I decided to move to the UK (for the weather?!) 🇬🇧
Banker ***ker 🏦
My first UK job was (at last) in banking where I worked on the sales and trading floor of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
My job was to work in the sales operations function to provide desk heads with timely market and transaction data. It was a heavy BI role with a lot of reporting.
I enjoyed the work immensely but did not enjoy the working environment so much. Most days were a 7 or 8 pm finish with an 11pm at least once a week.
The other big concern for me was that, as a data person in an extremely large organisation, I wasn’t really able to see how my data was contributing to the organisation’s decision making processes.
I decided I wanted to work in smaller organisations where I could see the relationship between my data and strategic decisions being made.
I decided to move to tech.
We have tech-off 🚀
It wasn’t too long before I landed my first tech startup role. It was in a med-tech company that was building software to aid the training of surgeons.
I was now a BI and Strategy Analyst and from week one, I was in the room with the C-Suite presenting data and helping to facilitate the decision making process.
The role was extremely eye opening and provided me with a lot of leadership experience that it might have taken me much longer to acquire in a different organisation.
Pizza Time 🍕
My next role, and subsequently my last role, was at Pizza Hut Digital Ventures. An E-commerce platform that had been set up to help scale and consistent E-commerce experience around the world (outside of the US and China).
I was the first permanent data team hire and it was my job to build and scale the rest of the team.
Though I’d been a leader in the past, this role required me to be more of a data evangelist across the business than to be hands on with the data.
In a franchisee-based legacy business, I was about to learn the toughest challenge that exists in data: Stakeholder Management.
It was now my job to change the hearts and minds of people who’d worked in the business for decades and bring them around to the idea of trusting the data over their experience and intuition.
That experience gave me tremendous insight into what a data leader is and needs to be, which lead me to my next career phase.
Getting some hands on experience in store!
Tristan Goes DIY 👨🏼💻
I was at Pizza Hut for 4 years and it was the most rewarding and enjoyable role I ever had.
But I’ve always felt this strong desire to be my own boss and so I decided to go solo and take what I’d learnt over the last 14 years and use it to see if I could help other analysts pave their way in data - particularly data leaders.
I believe that there is a still a long way to go for the value that data brings to be recognised and accepted by many organisations. A big part of that is ensuring that data leader are equipped with effective strategies for success.
That’s why, in the time since leaving my last role, I’ve been focused on helping data leaders (and aspiring leaders) navigate challenges in their careers through one to one coaching, as well as recently launched, group coaching (starting in November).
I hope you enjoyed my origin story into data! Remember, no two data careers are the same and it is never to late to get into data!
What’s your origin story?
⚡️Whenever you are ready here are a few ways I can help you: