6 Highly Recommendable Gift Ideas for Your Data Nerd

So you’ve got a special data nerd in your life – congrats! They’re great to keep around for mental math, household finances, and lots of Star Trek jokes. We’re kidding – the data nerd is not a monolith. They come in all shapes, sizes, and nerd varieties. We’ve got quite a few of them here at DataKitchen and they’re a swell bunch.

If you’re looking for a special gift for your data nerd, whether it’s their birthday or a holiday, we at DataKitchen have curated a list (in no particular order) of six highly recommendable books to put a smile on your nerd’s face. 🎁 📚 🤓​ 

Data Teams: A Unified Management Model for Successful Data-Focused Teams, by Jesse Anderson

If your data nerd leads a team of data nerds, big data projects, or aspires to one day, “Data Teams” is the book for them.‎‍👩🏻‍💼

Data Teams author Jesse Anderson – a data engineer, creative engineer, and managing director of the Big Data Institute – writes about running successful big data projects, resourcing teams, and how those teams should work with each other to be cost-effective. The magic sauce of this book lies in the three groups that Jesse outlines and dives into as necessary for data analytics projects to be successful (i.e., the data scientist, the engineer, and the operations engineer). You can purchase Data Teams from its publisher site at Apress here.

Disrupting Data Governance: A Call to Action, by Laura B. Madsen

If your data nerd is all about bucking the status quo, Disrupting Data Governance is the book for them. 🗣️

The old adage “if ain’t broke don’t fix it” doesn’t apply to data governance. Author Laura B. Madsen posits that it is in fact broken and it’s long overdue for fixing. The book is written in her casual, witty style tapping into Madsen’s decades of experience, sharing interviews with other best-in-field experts, and is grounded in research. Like a Nicolas Sparks novel, see where it all fell apart, challenge long-held beliefs, and commit (to data governance).

You can purchase Disrupting Data Governance from its publisher site at Technics Publication here.


The Goal, 30th Anniversary Edition, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

If your data nerd loves thriller books, shows, &/or movies, The Goal is the book for them. 😰

The Goal is the O.G., dog-eared business management book that most MBAs have on their bookshelf. Author Eliyahu M. Goldratt (may his memory be a blessing) introduces his management paradigm the Theory of Constraints (ToC) through a fast-paced thriller style novel about his protagonist Alex Rogo who has 90 days to save his plant that’s at risk of being closed by corporate HQ as well as his marriage. The Goal may have been written 36 years ago, but its lessons still hold true to this day and age. You can purchase it from its publisher site at North River Press here.


Practical DataOps: Delivering Agile Data Science at Scale, by Harvinder Atwal

If your data nerd is obsessed with the newest, coolest technology and what big companies tech firms are doing, Practical DataOps is the book for them. 📱⌚

Author Harvinder Atwal, a Chief Data Science Officer himself, offers a practical introduction to DataOps, a new discipline for delivering data science at scale inspired by practices at large tech companies like Facebook, Uber, LinkedIn, Twitter, and eBay. Data Science is more than just about models and algorithms – DataOps helps you to activate people, processes, and technological changes to deliver value from data. You can purchase Practical DataOps from its publisher site Apress here.


The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Developers, Digital Disruption, and Thriving in the Age of Data, by Gene Kim

If your data nerd is into dystopian books, movies, &/or shows like “The Handmaids Tale,” or “Hunger Games,”  and/or Netflix organization shows like “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” or “Get Organized with the Home Edit” this is the book for them. 😱 🧹🧽

Author Gene Kim, founder of IT Revolution, introduces The Five Ideals – (1) Locality and simplicity; (2) Focus, flow, and joy; (3) Improvement of daily work; (4) Psychological safety; and (5) Customer focus –  in his story about main character Maxine, a senior lead developer and architect, as she’s exiled to the Phoenix Project, to the horror of her friends and colleagues, as punishment for contributing to a payroll outage. She tries to survive in what feels like a heartless and uncaring bureaucracy and to work within a system where no one can get anything done without endless committees, paperwork, and approvals. You can purchase “The Unicorn Project” from its publisher site IT Revolution here.

The DataOps Cookbook: Methodologies & Tools That Reduce Analytics Cycle Time While Improving Quality

Last but not least, if your data nerd is into cooking – or at least kitchen/food puns – The DataOps Cookbook is the book for them. 👨‍🍳  🍽️  🤤

Authors Chris Bergh (CEO), Gil Benghiat (VP Product), and Eran Strod (Marketing Content Manager) of DataKitchen, a DataOps software and services provider (and full disclosure: the company writing this blog post), take you through understanding DataOps, its century-long evolution from pioneers like W. Edwards Deming and statistical process control, and how these ideas crossed into the technology space in the form of Agile, DevOps, and now DataOps. In addition to making DataOps a thing, The Data Ops Cookbook does actually in fact contain some recipes like chile mole, banana oatmeal bread, trail mix cookies, and vegan corn chowder to name a few. You can purchase a Kindle version of The DataOps Cookbook to gift your data nerd from Amazon here.

Well, that’s a wrap on gift ideas for your data nerd! Hopefully, we’ve given you a few choices to make finding a gift for that someone special a little less stressful.

If you’re a data nerd and want to tell us about some great gifts you’ve gotten, feel free to reach out to us at marketing@www.datakitchen.io with subject line ‘Data Nerd Gift Ideas’ and we’d be happy to put them in a follow-up blog post.

We hope you all have a safe, meaningful, and wonderful Thanksgiving and winter holiday season to come.

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