In today’s post you’re going to see a rare data skill that will place you yards ahead in your quest to climb the data science career ladder. In all honesty, this skill is relevant to data workers of all types, but since data scientists are everywhere these days – we’ll relate it all back you.

Since last week, I’ve been burning the midnight oil, scouring the web for a client – leaving no stone unturned in my quest to discover how AI ethics impact supply chains.

Lets call this client, XYZ Corp. shall we?

climb the data science career ladderAnd by that, I mean food supply chains – You know? Those invisible ⛴ transport systems that are responsible for the brimming piles of gorgeous avocados, bananas, and apples you (hopefully) see at your local grocery.

WHY the sudden interest in shipping and supply, you may ask?

(I’d be lying if I said all the empty shelves and “panic buying” at our grocery didn’t play a hand, but that’s not the whole picture)

Well, for starters

The work this client has me doing is to evaluate and evangelize their AI ethics program

Now, as any good evangelist knows, we always have to tie our topic to the hearts and minds of our people – so supply chain issues during COVID-19 naturally came to mind.

But there, more to it…

▶️▶️ Ready for the real answer?! ◀️◀️

Marketing improvements have everything to do with climbing the data science career ladder (but not for the reason you think…)

If we’re honest, this client hired me to get them marketing results by having me evangelize my opinion about their approach on AI ethics. ✅ Brand awareness.

So in this aspect of my data career, I’m using my data expertise along the “marketing improvements” route to get results for my client.

Marketing improvements my client gets =

  • More data professionals chattering over coffee about how XYZ Corp. does AI ethics right
  • More visibility for XYZ Corp. as responsible data stewards
  • Increased public trust in XYZ Corp. = More sales

Makes sense?

But in terms of how I personally benefit here, by deploying my data expertise to create marketing improvements, I get:

  • More clients & career opportunities than I can shake a stick at
  • More automated systems running (inside my business), bringing in more overall revenues (cha-ching)
  • More opportunities to help awesome clients use data to improve the results they get from their own marketing.

If you think about it, the work you do in your data career is always serving the business via one ROUTE or another.

(just like a freight ship takes one route or another to deliver food supply)

What does all this have to do with you reaching your next rung on the data science career ladder?


With an 85%+ failure rate of data and AI projects, no doubt that leaders and executives are fed up with supporting data coders who love code for the sake of code – without an eye for how their work is impacting the business’s bottom-line.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen – but the word on the street among data leaders and business executives is that without improved business skills, a dark day is coming for data scientists. With an 85%+ failure rate of data and AI projects, no doubt that leaders and executives are fed up with supporting data coders who love code for the sake of code – without an eye for how their work is impacting the business’s bottom-line. No wonder the future of data science; lies in actually turning data into valuable business insight.

So, what about you? How profitable are your data projects? Do you know?

YES, NO OR I DON’T KNOW – Are they operational and being used by the business to either decrease expenditures or increase revenues?


If you answered “no” or “I don’t know” to that question, then I need you to stop and really open your eyes for a moment – what I’m about to share with you could change the course of your entire career.


Your progression along the data science career ladder has very little to do with how many new data tools and methods you learn – and everything to do with your ability to lead your company to increasing profits through effective data strategy and implementation.

The good news: Data leadership and data strategy are skills that can be learned.

Even better news: We just released a very affordable, actionable data strategy product that will get you started on your journey to Winning With Data.

Picking back up on our analogy…

Back in 2012, when I worked doing data science for local government, I used data + code to report on employee productivity in real-time.

So, back then – the work I did in my career was supporting the “business” to make OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS.

I was applying my data skills along the Operational Improvements Route, to save costs for my employer (thereby increasing overall profits)

And from this operational improvements project, the business manager got:

  • A granular view of how many “actions” each team member took that day
  • A historical view of team member “actions” over the last month & quarter
  • An indicator for each team member that grades their productivity (relative to other team members) from “A” to “F”.

But, they also had me building dashboards that took the DECISION-SUPPORT ROUTE to supporting the business.

And in that case, executives and key stakeholders got:

  • Clear metrics describing the performance of each business unit
  • An at-a-glance-view of how business units are performing with respect to those metrics
  • Indicators to quickly alert business leaders of potential problems with the business units

Question for you: In what ROUTE(s) are you currently using your data skills to support the business (ie; your employer or client)?

If you’re fuzzy on the answer to that question, here’s what I teach my clients over inside Winning With Data.

Get 21 Proven-To-Win Data Project Blueprints HERE

The typical progression for how company’s start using data to increase profits looks like this:

Cost Savings > Decision Support > Increase Sales > New Revenue Streams

But, let’s also flip this and take a look from the data professional’s perspective. The type of data projects we are typically asked to implement fall into the following categories:

climb the data science career ladder with this rare skill

Operational & Finance Improvements > Decision-Support > Marketing Improvements > Data Monetization

These ☝️ are the five routes data projects take when increasing profits for a business.

It generally seems to go like this:

Once you get your data projects up-and-running to improve your productivity and efficiency within the business (aka; making Operational Improvements & as well as improvements to Finance processes), business leaders usually start clamoring –

“How can we make our data work better for me?!” – Your Business’s Leaders

In comes the Decision-Support round of data projects…

And when executives see how powerful data-informed decision-making is…

They usually start asking you to develop ways to use data to increase sales and even create new revenue streams.

Enter Marketing Improvements and Data Monetization

As a burgeoning data leader, THIS ☝️ is the journey you need to steer your company in taking. (maybe not in this exact order depending on what you identify as the “lowest hanging fruit” for your organization – but a progression nonetheless)

This is what I’ve seen from the inner workings of 100s of my client’s businesses (including Dell, ElectroLux, and Amazon, to name a few).

the next step towards progressing along the data science career ladder

It really comes down to assessing your company as it is right now, and selecting to implement your next data project based on what’s going to get your employer (or client) THE BIGGEST, QUICKEST BANG FOR THE BUCK… (in data strategy speak, we call this “selecting the quick win data use case“).

Building and executing your data strategy and implementation plan based on this QUICK WIN… This is what ensures data project success, and secures future buy-in from the business leaders that fund your data projects

And, all of the above ☝ is the sole reason I created and am now releasing Winning With Data.

It’s everything you need to get started building a data strategy for your company (and reach your next rung on the data science career ladder), including under-the-hood details for 21 of the most winning data projects in industry to date. That’s:

  • 21 Landmark Winning Data Case Studies – use these shining stories to win-over business leaders once you’ve finally selected your quick win data use case.
  • 21 Winning Data Use Cases – describing the who, what, when and how involved in making these projects a success
  • 21 Use Case Diagrams – to show you exactly how these wins were set-up within the business
  • 21 Technology Specifications – don’t have a data-gasm, but we literally researched and detailed the exact data technologies and methodologies the companies use to achieve these wins.
  • #1 BONUS: The Data Jargon Dictionary: For Executives & Key Stakeholders – use this to brush up on “data strategy speak” in case you’re new to the sub-field.
  • #2 BONUS: The Selling To Stakeholders Formula
  • #3 BONUS: 2 Secret Strategies For Politely Winning Data Turf Wars
  • #4 BONUS: Private access to Lillian Pierson’s Data Strategy Club on Facebook
  • #5 LIMITED TIME FREEBIE BONUS: The first 20 members get a free copy of my ebook, Data Science For Dummies. As of Monday morning, there are 10 free copies left to give out! (you won’t see this detailed on the registration page, but I will message you a redemption code if you’re among the next 10 members)

[button url=””]Get 21 Proven-To-Win Data Project Blueprints HERE[/button]

Join now for only $37 and get 21 proven-to-win data project blueprints, covering each route in which data supports the business to actually increase profits.

Decision-Support. Operational Improvements. Marketing Improvements. Finance. Data Monetization.

But, yeh, YOU’RE GETTING WAY MORE THAN JUST 21 Winning Data Case Collections…

On top of all that, you’re getting MY SIGNATURE DATA STRATEGY PROCESSES FOR ASSESSING DATA USE CASES (a quick-n-dirty system that shows exactly how prime a fit each data use case is to your business, given it’s unique needs – consulting process and strategy are the next step for data professionals looking to climb the data science career ladder).

So, in fact – inside Winning With Data Case Collections, you’re actually getting:

  • My Signature Data Strategy Process For Screening Data Use Cases (value: if I told you how much this is worth in terms of hourly rate, you wouldn’t believe me)
  • 21 Winning Data Case Studies (value: $229)
  • 21 Winning Data Use Cases (value: $229)
  • 21 Use Case Diagrams (value: $84)
  • 21 Technology Specifications (value: $84)
  • #1 BONUS: The Data Jargon Dictionary: For Executives & Key Stakeholders (value: $37)
  • #2 BONUS: The Selling To Stakeholders Formula (value: $37)
  • #3 BONUS: 2 Secret Strategies For Politely Winning Data Turf Wars (value: $37)
  • #4 BONUS: Access to Lillian Pierson’s Data Strategy Club on Facebook (priceless)
  • LIMITED TIME BONUS: Data Science For Dummies Digital Ebook (ONLY for the next 10 members)

Total Value: $737

Today’s Price: $37

[button url=””]Get 21 Proven-To-Win Data Project Blueprints HERE[/button]

And if you’re already a Winning With Data member…

Check your inbox for your redemption code for your free ebook version of Data Science For Dummies! ????

See you inside Winning With Data!!

P.S. This week, I’m releasing Winning With Data – a data strategy product that provides 21 proven-to-win data project blueprints AND my signature process for screening data use cases (to see which is the best fit for the unique needs of your employer – or client).

Hurry to join now while the price is only $37 bucks????

P.P.S. Share this on LinkedIn and tag a colleague that NEEDS to see it!

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Lillian Pierson is a CEO & data leader that supports data professionals to evolve into world-class leaders & entrepreneurs. To date, she’s helped educate over 1.7 million data professionals on AI and data science. Lillian has authored 9 data books with Wiley & Sons Publishers as well as 16 data courses with LinkedIn Learning. She’s supported a wide variety of organizations across the globe, from the United Nations and National Geographic, to Ericsson and Saudi Aramco, and everything in between. She is a licensed Professional Engineer, in good standing. She’s been a technical consultant since 2007 and a data business mentor since 2018. She occasionally volunteers her expertise in global summits and forums on data privacy and ethics.

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