Fractional Head of Data

In large organisations, there is typically a dedicated team, or teams, responsible for their data product, data operations and business intelligence. They are led by the Head of Data; other names of the position can be Director of Data, Head of Business Intelligence, or similar. In a smaller startup or an SME hiring yet another senior executive full-time just to manage a small team may be an overkill and just drain the budget unnecessarily.

What if you could secure the services of a part-time Head of Data, obtaining their expertise for a fraction of the typical cost?

Is your organisation experiencing growth without the presence of a dedicated Data team? Perhaps you have a team, but lack a clear strategic direction for effective data management. Are you in need of data experts but constrained by a limited budget?

If any of these scenarios resonate with you, worry not! A fractional Head of Data could be the solution to all your challenges.

As your organisation expands, engaging a fractional Head of Data can provide an impartial and fresh perspective on your data initiatives. What’s more, you can tailor their involvement to align with your organisation’s growth rate. You might wonder why opt for a fractional rather than a permanent Head of Data? While a full-time manager working about 40 hours a week can certainly drive progress within your organisation, a fractional Head of Data becomes especially advantageous when businesses are scaling with budget constraints. Let’s delve into several compelling reasons why hiring a fractional Head of Data makes economic sense:


Startups and SMEs often operate within tight budget constraints. Employing a fractional Head of Data grants access to top-tier data expertise without incurring the high costs associated with a full-time employee. This cost-saving advantage can be particularly beneficial for smaller businesses, especially when an external contract offers flexibility that aligns with your organisation’s growth trajectory. For instance, a fractional Director of Data can dedicate more hours initially when strategic and directional guidance is needed. As processes become streamlined, you can scale back their involvement to save costs.

Knowledge transfer & efficiency

A seasoned fractional Head of Data is typically an experienced professional who can swiftly assess your data requirements and commence the implementation of data strategies. This rapid deployment often translates to quicker results and a competitive edge. Leveraging their years of experience gained from consulting for various organisations, they can efficiently provide strategic guidance for your data initiatives. This includes defining clear data objectives, establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), and devising a roadmap to effective data operations for achieving business objectives. Furthermore, they can serve as mentors and trainers for your in-house team, imparting valuable data skills.

Head of Data is not just a data consultant

Distinct from a data consultant, a Head of Data takes on a broader role. While a data consultant primarily engages in hands-on delivery of data pipelines, machine learning algorithms and business intelligence analytics, a Head of Data manages a team of data engineers, data analysts and data scientists. They provide overarching organisational direction and strategy, focusing on expanding or building the data team and setting its direction. This encompasses designing high-level architecture for BI or data systems, establishing data policies, and supervising the delivery of the data team.

An experienced fractional Director of Data can challenge assumptions, identify blind spots, offer innovative solutions, and ensure your data practices comply with GDPR regulations, mitigating the risk of legal and reputational issues. These value-added contributions enable your organisation to make more informed decisions, leading to improved resource allocation and growth opportunities. Startups and SMEs often operate in dynamic environments where priorities can shift rapidly. A fractional Head of Data, working together with other C-level executives, can ensure your data strategy remains in sync with your long-term business objectives.

In summary, hiring a fractional Head of Data is a strategic move for startups and SMEs seeking to harness the power of data without committing to a permanent Head of Data. It offers cost advantages, expertise, flexibility, and the potential to drive data-driven growth for your organisation. Don’t let budget constraints limit your access to top-tier data leadership; explore the benefits of a fractional Head of Data today.