Data Leaders is where we invite top AI entrepreneurs and extract meaningful and actionable insights that you can apply to life and work to help you achieve your dreams and goals.
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May 8, 2016

Ben Spooner has several years of experience as an Army Officer at a battle post in Iraq, both in Intelligence as well as Executive capacities. I sat down with him to discuss his thoughts on activating a data driven work culture using data visualization and dashboards as primary weapons. 

Here's what we discussed:

  • A complete dashboard lifecycle - from inception to decision-making
  • How to build dashboards that drive decision making
  • Up close and personal look at the data scientist who did data research and exploration at the front line trenches of  insurgency in a war zone
  • When is raw data the best form of reporting (instead of a fancy-schmancy dashboard)
  • Two critical factors that fuels dashboard building process…They are C-words (hint: Curiosity and Collaboration)
  • Data Driven culture has two key pursuits: truth and discovery. How to make a dashboard that builds this type of a data driven culture...
  • How to deal with stakeholders who don’t appreciate the exploratory process of dashboard building… and how to set their expectations and empower them.
  • Bonus: Self-correcting semi-autonomous system and its application to insurance claims processing...

Reach out to Ben's through LinkedIn or Email to learn more about his exciting data science projects.


Mar 8, 2016
Peter Nelson, CEO of, and I sat to discuss Adaptive Design and it’s impact on Conversion Optimization. Peter brings a breath of experience to Marketing Technology space and it was fun sitting down with him to discuss everything from his entrepreneurial philosophy to his home in Norway...
Interesting gems of knowledge I picked up:
  • How to get unicorn conversion rate for mobile devices...
  • What is Adaptive Design and how does it differ from responsive design?
  • Mobile specific calls to actions and navigation features...
  • How to effectively use sticky header and footer in mobile design?
  • How to cut testing time by more than half so you can fit more tests in your testing calendar!
Wordstream Study on Mobile Click Distribution
Link to Peter’s Company:
Jan 28, 2016

For the past 2 years, Zach has been working as a data scientist at an industry leading data consulting firm.  He works in fraud analytics space where he and his team has saved hundreds of millions of dollars of federal dollars using sophisticated data science techniques. He is also a recent graduate of data science program at UC Berkeley.

When I met him, I was really impressed with your ability to speak “real world” data science and later I found out that he has a professional background in teaching complex topics like physics and calculus, which is what makes you such a good communicator in this field.

I sat down with him on a sunny Saturday afternoon to discuss one of the most exciting projects he has worked on in his data science career. 

Here's a quick recap of what we discussed:

  • Can we predict what pitch is going to be thrown next in major league baseball? Implications for Hitters (batters) equipped with this data is $10M to $15M per season. 
  • A wave of In-game analytics about to hit the sports industry. This in-game analytics may eat ‘Moneyball’ style static analytics for breakfast
  • Are better pitchers tough to predict? Or are they just as easy to predict as others?
  • What’s the correlation between a pitcher’s ERA and his predictability? ERA is a baseball metric - earned runs average - its used to gauge how well a pitcher is doing in a season.
  • Is it better to be 90% accurate 30% of the times or 30% accurate 90% of the times? 
  • What has Ashton Kutcher to do with Data Science and Social Good?
  • How to cultivate the presence of mind when communicating about data? 
Link to the Project:
Link to Zach's LinkedIn:


Nov 20, 2015

Lisa Kirch has over 20 years of broad business experience and deep understanding of data science. As she was recently celebrating her graduation from Berkeley's data science program, I got together with her to chat about a very interesting project she has been working on for the last few weeks. 

Listen to this quick (less than 15 mins) discussion to learn more about:

- Future of smart home (connected home) and conversation

- Data science can help create a sustainable ways of living

- Compelling Visuals Dashboards 

Connect with Lisa at on LinkedIn or @lkonthego on twitter. For email fans, reach out to Lisa and learn more about her data science projects via email at

Jul 12, 2015

Sharon Lin has big aspirations when it comes to big data. Sharon wants to apply data science to solve California’s mega drought problem by integrating real-time weather data into crop irrigation systems. Additionally, she wants to use advanced image recognition algorithms to predict, track, and monitor endangered wildlife migration patterns to help endangered species from being hunted.

I sat down with her this week to talk about applications of data science in the field of mobile behavioral analytics. Over the last 5 years, Sharon has worked in the emerging field of mobile behavioral analytics and she shared some golden nuggets with me. 

Here’s what I picked up:

  • Mobile analytics and its relationship with evolution and emergence of IoT (internet of things)
  • Privacy, Personalization, and IoT: Sharon shared her brief thoughts on the intersection of these areas. 
  • Two main problems most companies face when it comes to fully maximize their data potential, and what to do about it!
  • Difference between data processing engines Spark and Hadoop 

Connect with Sharon on her LinkedIn: Sharon’s LinkedIn or email her at “sharonxlin” at “”

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