Top 15 Books to Master Data Strategy

Nicole Janeway Bills
12 min readMay 18, 2022

If you’re a data practitioner with your eye on a leadership role, learning Data Management will be an important step toward getting you where you want to go. In this article, we outline 15 books on topics ranging from Data Architecture (highly technical) to Data Literacy (broadly nontechnical) to help you improve your understanding of end-to-end best practices related to data.

boy sitting on stack of books
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

1. Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK)

  • Authors: various leaders within DAMA International
  • Time to read: 20 hrs 5 mins (588 pages)
  • Rating: 4.8 / 5 (397 total ratings)

Summary: I’d be remiss if I didn’t begin this list here. This behemoth covers 14 practical topics related to Data Strategy, followed by 3 topics related to implementation.

The 14 different knowledge areas are best represented by the Aiken Pyramid, which outlines how these topics build upon each other. Data Governance forms the basis of the pyramid, with the next layer composed of Data Architecture, Data Quality, and Metadata Management, and so on, until we reach the top with Data Science (which the book naively refers to as “Big Data”).

The DMBOK can be a bit frustrating to read, largely because it was written by 20+ members of DAMA International, seemingly without a connective thread. This trusty book is currently in its second edition — for v3, I’d recommend an editor. Video review here.

TL;DR: If you read this one (or at least skim most of it and highlight the important parts), you’ll be prepared to take the open book, open notes Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) exam (aka the best Data Science certification you’ve never heard of).

2. Navigating the Labyrinth

  • Author: Laura Sebastian-Coleman
  • Time to read: 6 hrs 5 mins (208 pages)
  • Rating: 4.4 / 5 (76 total ratings)

Summary: This book is for those who are working on a Data Governance implementation in their organization and struggling to…

Nicole Janeway Bills

Founder of where we help busy professionals ace the Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) exam and other data-related exams.