Meet Kate Pingel, Principal Consultant at FSFP

By Callie Kinnan

I recently sat down for a conversation with my colleague Kate Pingel to learn more about her current role at FSFP, her simple definition for data governance and the advice she’s given and received. I hope you enjoy this Q&A recap of our conversation for personal and professional insights into the people that make up Team FSFP.

What’s your typical day like?

I don’t know if I’ve had any typical days. Normally, I am always making sure I’m working with a client to meet their data governance needs. I haven’t had the same day twice yet.

How would you explain data governance to a kid/grandparent?

I describe it as putting guardrails in place to make sure that people can trust and use information in a way that meets their needs.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

That it is different every day. Everybody has different needs and there’s different definitions to data governance, so helping people really define what it means for them and getting it established for them. I love it. I also have to say that the people at FSFP are phenomenal. So, that makes a huge difference.

What was your first job?

My very first job was probably babysitting. Aside from that, it would have been grocery store bagger.

What prepared you most for a career in consulting/data governance/data management?

I would say my background working with a lot of different customers that are at various places on their data journey. And, being able to be on that business side of it as well gives me appreciation of the customer’s perspective and experience. We’re all running into the same thing just at different times or at different stops on our journey. Having seen a lot of different scenarios, I am able to provide guidance from various engagements to meet each unique situation.

What made you choose FSFP?

The people. Kelle is phenomenal and her reputation precedes her. But I also worked at a company where we had hired FSFP to help us. That first exposure and knowing the difference that FSFP is making in the market is huge.

Describe your consulting style.

I would say it’s collaborative guidance. Not too “telly-telly”. But, prescriptive enough that they can be successful but still feel like it’s their decision. They still own the process, and they’ll own that success, but just helping guide them down that path.

Which FIRST (focus, integrity, resourcefulness, skillfulness, teamwork) value do you resonate with the most and why?

Teamwork. Everybody’s experiences and their backgrounds are valuable, not just on the FSFP side but even in our clients’ cultures and engagements too. We have to all work together and apply various skills and talents to all of the pieces of a project. So if I have to pick one FIRST value, I would say teamwork resonates most with me.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Robert Fulghum’s poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten;” also, look both ways and hold hands.

What advice would you give to someone considering a job in data management/governance?

Be open to continuous learning. I think everything’s changing. And while the fundamentals aren’t necessarily changing, I think we still need to be open to new ways to explore, and establish a culture around governance. Just be open.

What’s your best work-from-home tip?

Get up and go out outside. Go for a walk that is my biggest thing. Take the dog out for a walk or just take yourself for a walk.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My husband and I have four kids, so we don’t have a whole lot of free time. It’s usually running kids around to different activities. If I do have free time, I enjoy going out to see live music, quilting and hiking or bike riding with family.

Meet Kate

What do you see as the future of data?

We’re going to have to decide what really matters. I think it has to be scaled back. So much has gone into this big data concept. I think people are getting lost in that, and I think we’re focused on quantity versus, whatever the actual value of it is. So are you grabbing the right data or not? I think the future of data is that it’s going to need to be more focused and better contained. There’s a ton of it, and it’s not going to ever stop.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Kate as much as I did. We’ll be continuing to introduce other members of the FSFP Team soon, so be on the lookout for more of our Meet the Team series!