There are data miners and then there is data mindset. The former are the people and/or their tools that do the digging through the numbers. The latter is about a whole lot more. 

Last week I blogged about how to help people believe the numbers. This week I am going a big step further talking about four different types of data mindsets and the implications for decision making in an organisation (see figure).   

                                                                                 Data Mindsets

Vision Driven 

A vision driven leader is not just entrepreneurial, but also highly emotionally charged. They are likely to have a low tolerance level for people who are not in sync with the vision and discount data brought forward by them. 

Help them see the qualities of others outside of their tunnel vision. 

Impact Driven 

An impact driven leader is high on emotion but sees simple problems that need fixing. Fast. You will often find these types of people in charities for example. The risk to their decision making when it comes to data is that they may allow the rules to be bent if the end justifies the means. 

Help them to accept the need for some controls. Data without controls is a reputation damaging event waiting to happen.

Process Driven 

Leaders who are factually driven but who are not the creator of purpose and mission will often be very process driven. While this is likely to result in good data capture and analysis, they may not be able to see the possibilities the data may bring. 

Help them to think differently by identifying questions that could be answered by the data, no one has thought to ask, until now.

 Numbers Driven 

Entrepreneurs who focus on the numbers are loved by investors. However, investors for the main don’t need to worry about the collateral damage if it does not impact the reputation of the organisation with its customers or other key stakeholders. 

The key risk with these types of leaders is that they alienate talent. Some of the best data talent is coming out of universities and colleges as we speak. This generation is less tolerant of unsympathetic leaders. 

Help them see the benefits of empathy for their valuable data miners.


Bryan's new book teaches you practical methods to cut through with your advice and make the impact you want to make. Available on Amazon or order here now.


Available on Amazon or order here now.

Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making and Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build Your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Winning Conversations: How to Engage Program for internal advisors. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.



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