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Ross Simson writes data-inspired take on Rudyard Kipling classic

If you missed our December CDO Hub event recently, you might have heard about some ‘unforgettable’ performances on the open mic. Indeed, Ross Simson stepped up to perform his own rendition of Rudyard Kipling’s If, with a data-themed twist. You can read his poetic achievement below.


If ……you can keep your data safe when all about you 

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust BI Systems, when all men or women doubt you,

But you make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait for your data query to run and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about by IT, yet don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated for not answering the Board requests immediately, and don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too smug or your dashboards too cool , nor find insights that make you talk too wise:

If you can dream of MDM – and not make quality your master;

If you can think – and not make fame your aim;

If you can meet your colleagues requests with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by GDPR to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the team, that you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out Microsoft tools: 

If you can build one source for all your data 

And bet on your disaster recovery Schloss,

And lose, ….and start again at your alma mater,

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your boss long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to all: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with HR or finance and keep your virtue,

‘ Or walk with the board – yet not  lose the common touch,

if neither CEO’s nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all your colleagues count with you, but none too much;

If you can solve a Rubix cube in under a minute

and hit your budget every quarter,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a CDO, my son! (Or Daughter)


The CDO Hub is an on-demand service providing access to advice, guidance and leadership on data and analytics from the very best in the market.

Our CDO Hub events offer a chance for members of the senior data community to meet, network and discuss everything in the industry. If you enjoyed reading Ross’ poem, make sure to check out Tim Carmichael’s rendition of ‘White Christmas’ that he performed at the same event.