22 Data Product Thought Leadersto Follow in 2024

Resources for Data-Driven Decision-Making

As businesses increasingly rely on data-driven decision-making, the role of data product leaders becomes ever more crucial. These leaders shape the future of data products and drive innovations that redefine how organizations leverage data.

In 2024, staying ahead means following the experts who are transforming the landscape. This article presents 22 thought leaders in the field of data products, data management, and AI to help you stay on track with the most recent trends and developments.

Overview

  • DJ Patil
  • Tom Davenport
  • Mike Ferguson
  • Chad Sanderson
  • Joe Reis
  • Jean-Georges Perrin
  • Jon Cooke
  • Max Schultze
  • Scott Hirleman
  • Andrew Jones
  • Emily Gorcenski
  • Willem Koenders
  • Ziye Wang
  • Carsten Bange
  • Mercedes Pantoja
  • Ehtisham Zaidi
  • Robert Thanaraj
  • Tiankai Feng
  • Brian O’Neill
  • Eric Weber
  • Mark Freeman
  • Gregor Zeiler

What is a data product?

Data products are reliable, reusable resources that can be leveraged for data-driven decision-making by both data experts and business users. According to Gartner® a data product is a set of data, metadata, semantics, and templates that is curated and maintained. By that, they become immediately useful for specific business use cases.

If you need more insights on data products, read our in-depth article here:

Learn more about data products

The role of thought leaders in data management

After a lot of groundwork and defining what the term “data product” even means, thought leaders now need to go further. They need to address practical implementation, use cases, and challenges. Data product leaders are at the forefront of creating strategies that transform raw data into valuable products.

Following these thought leaders on LinkedIn allows you to stay updated on the latest trends, insights, and innovations in the field. So while browsing LinkedIn, you enhance your knowledge and skills! Engaging with their content can expand your network, open new career opportunities, and inspire innovative ideas for your projects.

22 data product thought leaders to follow in 2024

With their LinkedIn profiles and resources

DJ Patil has extensive expertise and pioneering contributions in the field of data science. As the first U.S. Chief Data Scientist appointed by President Obama, he significantly shaped public policy, led major healthcare and national security initiatives. He has defined a data product as “a product that facilitates an end goal through the use of data” in his book Data Jujitsu: The Art of Turning Data into Product.

Tom Davenport is a world-renowned thought leader and author on information technology, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Davenport's expertise and thought leadership make him a valuable resource for data experts and leaders looking to leverage data, analytics, and AI to drive business impact. Davenport has written or edited over 20 books and more than 250 articles for leading publications like Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and the Financial Times. For example, read his article Why Your Company Needs Data-Product Managers.

Mike Ferguson is a highly experienced consultant who has worked with numerous companies on various aspects of business intelligence, analytics, data strategy, and data management. He is also actively involved in the data and analytics community as the conference Chairman of Big Data LDN, a member of the EDM Council CDMC Executive Advisory Board, and a frequent speaker and writer on data-related topics. We recommend his masterclass on implementing Data Mesh.

 

Download his whitepaper on Development of Reusable Data Products →

Chad Sanderson, CEO of Gable.ai, is an experienced data leader with a passion for applying product thinking to holistic data challenges. He provides a valuable Data Products Newsletter that discusses data product development, semantic layers, data APIs, and modern data modeling. His LinkedIn is filled with interesting insights around data products. He’s just discussed the future of data products in the Data Chaos Podcast.

Joe Reis is a best-selling Co-author of Fundamentals of Data Engineering, Data Engineer and Architect, speaker, professor, podcaster, and content creator. In his Monday Morning Data Chat you can find interviews with the top minds in data. You can also check out his webinar recording on Customer-Facing Data Products.

Jean-Georges Perrin is a seasoned data science and machine learning expert with a diverse background spanning academia, research, and industry. As the author of Implementing Data Mesh, he is an advocate for Data Mesh and data products. His content is especially valuable as he breaks down complex concepts (just like in his book Data Mesh for all ages) and helps bridge the gap between data and business teams. He has also been a guest at Scott Hirleman’s Data Mesh Roundtable, discussing data products.

Jon Cooke is the creator of the Data Product Pyramid. He has over 20 years of experience in creating data platforms and is the creator of Dataceptions Enterprise Data Mesh platform. Following him is valuable for deep insights on data products, for example on deploying data products at the speed of business.

Max Schultze is the Associate Director of Data Engineering at HelloFresh. As an early adopter of the data mesh paradigm, he actively promotes its use through conference appearances, online training sessions, and publications. Look at his 10 Data Mesh dos and don’ts or his talk on How to Data Product.

As the Co-Founder of Data Mesh Learning Scott Hirleman is committed to helping people learn more about Data Mesh and if it’s right for their organization. He is also the host of the Data Mesh Radio.

Andrew Jones invented data contracts as an architecture pattern and a movement to improve the quality and reliability of data, and drive a culture change to build truly data-driven organizations. He is passionate about driving data-driven organizations and get the most value from their data. To learn more about data contracts, check out his Andrew's book or his newsletter.

Emily is the Data & AI Service Line Lead at Thoughtworks Europe. She’s a data scientist by profession, a mathematician and engineer by training, and a social activist by passion. She not only writes about software and topics around Data Mesh and data products, but also about politics and politics-in-software. On her website, you can find everything you need to know about Emily & how she brings together data and social commitment.

Willem Koenders is an innovative leader in digital transformation and data strategy, with a strong focus on leveraging data to enhance business operations and decision-making. He is passionate about data-driven transformations and a strong believer in "data governance by design." In Willem's Medium blog, you can find articles on data products, data governance, and more.

Ziye Wang is Head of Product Management at One Data, where she focuses on leveraging data products to significantly enhance operational efficiencies and business outcomes. Her expertise lies using data products and analytics to drive strategic decisions and innovations. Watch our interview with Ziye on how AI improves data products.

Carsten Bange is an expert in business intelligence, corporate performance management, and data-driven business strategies. As the founder and CEO of BARC, a leading enterprise software industry analyst and consulting firm, he offers deep insights into the trends and technologies that shape data management and business intelligence. He also hosts the Data Culture Podcast.

 

Watch our webinar with Carsten on The Rise of Data Products →

Mercedes is a global IT executive with over 20 years of successful achievements in organizations of all sizes. She’s experienced in combining strategy, technology, organizational change and people's development. She has a knack for using data to fuel innovation and growth, creating tangible business value by designing and implementing sustainable enterprise solutions and state-of-the-art products.

Ehtisham Zaidi is a data management expert at Gartner®, providing valuable insights and guidance to data and analytics leaders. His research covers data management solutions, including data integration, data engineering, DataOps, data architectures, data fabric, Data Mesh, and data products, helping clients build a strong business case for investing in and advancing their data management maturity. Zaidi works closely with clients to advise on vendor and tool selection and emerging deployment approaches for optimal impact and value.

 

Read the Gartner® report on 6 Lessons Data Leaders Can Learn From the Early Adopters of Data Mesh →

Robert Thanaraj is part of the Data Management team in the Data & Analytics practice at Gartner®. His research focus is on Data Management Solutions. He equips data and analytics leaders with insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities around strategy, best practices, market guidance, technology selection, operating model, etc. Robert can advise Gartner clients on the following areas: Modern Data Architectures including Data Fabric, Mesh, Lakehouse, Hub, Marketplace.

 

Read the Gartner® report on 6 Lessons Data Leaders Can Learn From the Early Adopters of Data Mesh →

Tiankai Feng is known for his engaging approach to discussing data strategy & data governance, all while mostly incorporating a ton of humor and music-related content. His unique style makes complex subjects more accessible and entertaining, which is especially appealing to a broad audience, including those new to the field. Make sure to look at his TEDx talk on the future of AI and definitely follow his YouTube channel as well!

 

Download our joint whitepaper on Democratizing Data Access here →

Brian O’Neill is “The UX for Data Products Guy”. He’s focused on leveraging the innovative power of human-centered design and UX to create high-value ML and analytics-driven data products. He's the host of The Experiencing Data Podcast and the founder of the Data Product Leadership Community.

Eric Weber has been a guest on the previously mentioned podcast by Brian O’Neill, discussing data product management any why we need it. He’s sharing knowledge and insights on data product management and data science as a product, for example in his newsletter From Data to Product. He helps data professionals and product managers build better data products and use data to help companies assess and navigate risk and opportunity.

Mark Freeman is a tech leader and data engineer interested in the intersection of social impact, business, and technology. His mission is to improve the well-being of as many people as possible through data. As the founder of On the Mark Data, he helps brands connect to data professionals through captivating content. Freeman shares insights from top data leaders on scaling data infrastructure through his Scaling DataOps Newsletter, making him a valuable resource for those looking to stay informed on latest trends and best practices.

Gregor Zeiler helps data-driven companies to find the right data strategies, architectures and tools in today’s complex data and AI landscape. He talks about data strategies, platforms, mesh, data products, democratization, and more. In his data.ai-zone he brings together advice from pioneers, thought leaders, and analysts.

Future trends in data products and management

Looking ahead, we anticipate significant advancements in data products, the role of AI in enhancing functionalities, and data-driven decision-making. These leaders are expected to play pivotal roles in shaping these trends by advocating for innovation, ethical standards, and effective strategies. Follow them on LinkedIn and check out their content to level-up your data product game!

Conclusion

Following these thought leaders will not only inspire but also equip you to steer your data-driven initiatives toward greater success in 2024. Their impact on the industry highlights the huge power of visionary leadership in the fast-paced industry of data management.

Of course, this is by no means a complete list—who are the data leaders you look up to? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. For more insights into data products and data-driven decision-making, subscribe to our newsletter through the footer!

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