RECAP — TechBrew:AM w/ Wendy Batchelder

We were honored to host Wendy Batchelder as the featured guest at TechBrew:AM on October 12th, 2023. Wendy shared insights on simplifying data, driving business impact through data solutions, and maintaining a humble learning mindset that guides her leadership approach.

Wendy Batchelder, an Iowa native, has nurtured her career in data strategy and led global data teams at three Fortune 500 companies. She ascended to her first Chief Data Officer (CDO) role at VMware and currently serves as CDO of Salesforce. Surprisingly, her initial aspiration was to be a public accountant, but her passion for data and complex problem-solving shifted her career trajectory.

An Urbandale native, Wendy is a self-proclaimed “data geek,” a data governance thought leader, a passionate DEI advocate and champion of inclusion, a lifelong learner, and a Board Member for various organizations, including TAI.


1.  Inspiring Future Women in Technology

Wendy’s technology journey began in college, where she enrolled in her first SQL course. Despite being the sole female in the room and being asked if she was in the wrong room, she knew she belonged in tech, continued to show up, earned two master’s degrees, and built a remarkable career. Today, she pays it forward by mentoring women in tech and championing diversity.

Notably, Wendy shared an inspirational note by reading a viral LinkedIn post she authored to honor International Girls Day. She read: 

“With the help and support of incredible mentors and sponsors along the way, this little girl learned how to belong, to find her voice, and to help others find their place in the world, too. This little girl is fighting each day to make a world where other little girls belong at the table, have equitable opportunities, and are encouraged to pursue careers that need their skills at the table to drive excellence.”

Read the full LinkedIn post here.

2. Agility in the Fast-Paced World of Tech

Wendy’s affinity for technology stems from her desire to solve intricate business challenges with data. She thrives on fast-paced innovation, but acknowledges the friction between business and technology teams due to the demand for instant results. It takes time to implement new technologies in a thoughtful, strategic manner. Wendy constantly thinks about how she can help her team be more agile and efficient to demonstrate value and show results instantaneously.

At Salesforce, Wendy enjoys an agile environment, enabling swift adaptation to emerging technologies. The global SaaS giant can pivot and adapt quickly to new technologies. When generative AI became mainstream in early 2023, the company was able to pivot its strategy and release a host of new AI products within weeks.

3. “Perfect” Data Is a Myth

In data transformations, Wendy advises starting small by addressing critical business metrics top executives use. She emphasizes the importance of focusing on data’s impact and its role in facilitating data-driven decisions rather than pursuing an elusive ideal of perfect data.

Perfect data is not the goal; The goal is to create a significant impact using transparent and trustworthy data, enabling stakeholders to make data-driven decisions.

4. Partnership With Stakeholders

Wendy’s initial project at Salesforce involved a Workday reimplementation. Through active collaboration and understanding the users’ experience, she resolved the data discrepancies caused by disparate teams. She underscores the need for co-collaboration and listening to domain experts during data transformations.

4. Authentic, Open-minded Leadership

Wendy approaches leadership with humility, authenticity, and accessibility. She relishes learning from individuals at all levels, appreciating interns’ unique perspectives, and fostering an environment where every voice is valued and considered.

Join us at the next TechBrew:AM:

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