I’ve been very luck over the years to meet almost all the data management authors that have influenced my thinking with their data management books. So, it is a great privilege for me to be publishing episode 7 in this series of interviews with data management authors, this week featuring Robert Seiner, aka Bob Seiner, aka “that guy from TDAN.com“.

The Interview

Robert Seiner, Author of Non-Invasive Data Governance

Featured Author: Bob Seiner

In this video, Bob talks about his book Non Invasive Data Governance – The path of least resistance and greatest success. This book has been out for several years, and grew out of a series of articles that Bob had written describing what he was finding was working well with clients as he was helping them on their data governance journey. It’s a quick read and is written in a conversational style.

What is “non-invasive data governance”? Bob’s approach is to try and leverage the existing governance you have in your organisation, and the current immature or ad hoc approaches to governing data in your organisation, and working to develop the organisation’s capability to do things better with data.

Bob makes a great point in the video: he has learned a lot in the seven years since the book came out about what works and what doesn’t. This is important in my view for anyone working in data management. While I will argue strenuously that the fundamental concepts that we need to apply are, well, fundamental, the application of these concepts in different circumstances means we need to be able to learn and adapt our approach.

That means we need to be constantly updating our knowledge on fundamentals and on the new ways in which those fundamentals can be applied. That means reading and researching. It doesn’t mean buy more software.


Watch the interview below (and then scrolls down for our competition).

Bob’s Influences

Bob demonstrates the importance of data quality specifications when he picks two books that have influenced him, with the second being the one he puts forward as the one he’d reference for this recording.

The first book mentioned is Good to Great by Jim Collins. This is a classic of American management literature that examines some of the key characteristics of what makes companies better than good.

Bob’s key influence book however is nothing to do with management or data per se, but is the story of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, which deals with topics of death, life, and understanding what matters to people. It is based on the last lecture given by a Carnegie Mellon University professor who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. You can find more information about The Last Lecture , including a video of the lecture itself, at this link.

Competition Time

If you would like to be entered into a draw to win some of the books referenced by Laura in this video and in the rest of the videos we’re running this month, please provide your email address and an answer to the simple question in the form below. The terms and conditions for the competition can be found here:

Books Referenced in this Video

  • Non-Invasive Data Governance (Bob Seiner)
  • Good to Great (Jim Collins)
  • The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch)

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Daragh O Brien

Daragh O Brien

Daragh is the founder and Managing Director of Castlebridge. He brings over twenty years of experience in data strategy and regulatory operations to the table for clients. He lectures in the School of Law in UCD and in the Law Society of Ireland on Data Protection and Data Governance. He is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society and holds CIPP/E and CIPM certifications from the IAPP and other data management qualifications.