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Valerie Logan

Valerie Logan, CEO and Founder, The Data Lodge, Inc.

Describe your career to date   

Before founding The Data Lodge in 2019, as a first time entrepreneur at the age of 52, I was a Gartner research vice president with the office of the chief data officer (CDO) research team – where I had the privilege (and challenge) of advising global CDOs as this new C-suite role emerged. I had joined Gartner after a couple of decades in data and analytics consulting roles (both leading and doing), but it was my first role out of grad school (where I had studied applied math) that was most formative to this day. I had the opportunity to work in both field roles and corporate roles for a telecommunications company going through a significant process re-engineering transformation in the mid ’90s and I can honestly say that there is nothing quite like experiencing front-line operations, business process and performance management, enterprise data warehousing, daily process management dashboards and corporate strategy – all across a span of five years. My lesson? Never underestimate change management – and the criticality of understanding change through different viewpoints – the most important of which, is those closest to your customers. 

What stage has your organization reached on its data maturity journey? 

At The Data Lodge, we are “all in” on supporting the world’s first data literacy programs – from the case for change, strategy, design through support of implementation. We are now three and a half years into this journey, and have run 15 bootcamps and are supporting a community of 50+ pioneering data literacy program leads. 

Tell us about the data and analytics resources you are responsible for

We are a “lean, but mighty” virtual team at The Data Lodge – intentionally. We serve our clients via a train-the-trainer model, where we provide training and support to data literacy program leads and their ambassador network. In a short few years, we have scaled up to support 50+ community members – and we do so with a highly leveraged model, methodology and resources. We do this with three full-time team members, a few contractors and our beloved mascot Cooper. 

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your organization and on the industry as a whole?

We see our business model at The Data Lodge (virtual, train-the-trainer, community-based) as being aligned with the way of the future! The way we support the emerging field of data literacy program development is agile, scalable, abundance-oriented and full of curiosity. We know that this field of data literacy/fluency is still forming, and with that comes fragmentation and confusion for our clients. We see this as year two-to-three of a ten-year movement – and we intend to stay in our lane of being the “home base” (pun intended) for pioneering data literacy program development. 

 

Have you set out a vision for data? If so, what is it aiming for and does it embrace the whole organization or just the data function?

Our point of view on data is that it is pervasive – and that one just needs to put on their “data glasses” to see it. It’s rare to find a business process, customer experience or personal life moment that isn’t infused with data. With that comes the need for processing that data, deriving insights, delivering augmented experiences to drive well-informed decisions and the need to act responsibly (understanding ethics, bias and privacy of the data that persists across our lives). This is not longer an IT thing, a data function thing or even just a work thing – data is a life thing and the sooner we get comfortable with it, the more we can harness its power and protect against its unintended consequences. Our view? That starts with data literacy as the new shared literacy and language of our times. 

 

Have you been able to fix the data foundations of your organization, particularly with regard to data quality?

Given that we are a lean operation at The Data Lodge and less than four years old, we have the luxury of building our systems to scale and we leverage the power of highly integrated and scalable digital platforms. Having said that, we are always asking ourselves – where do we need to guard against data quality issues in our own operations? Where can we gather and use data to our benefit in how we serve our clients, or work smarter? 

Valerie Logan
Valerie Logan
has been included in:
  • 100 Influencers 2023 (USA)