Shailvi Wakhlu

Data Quality & Data Storytelling Expert

Shailvi Wakhlu - Data Speaker

Investing in data is an investment in business success. I'm the former Head of Data from Strava, where I led the Data Department and Data Guild comprising 34 Analysts, ML Engineers, and Data Engineers. As a data and analytics leader, I've brought discipline and data science rigor to companies such as Salesforce, Komodo Health, and Fitbit.

I speak in forums where there is a hunger to learn about the fundamentals of data that can help supercharge business outcomes. I am open to both virtual and in-person engagements and can travel from San Francisco.


Shailvi Wakhlu is a Technology Leader, Author, and International Keynote Speaker. She is the former Head of Data & Analytics at Strava and Komodo Health. Her sixteen-year data and engineering career has included companies such as Salesforce, Fitbit, and a software startup she co-founded. Shailvi’s data expertise comes from being a practitioner at tech startups and large companies across three continents.

Wakhlu speaks on data and self-advocacy at twenty-five or more global conferences and Fortune 500 corporate events each year. She also teaches online courses on these subjects to a global audience.

Wakhlu offers individual and group coaching. She has helped hundreds of aspiring and current data scientists grow their skills and reach important career milestones faster. She is also an investor and consultant/advisor to several high-growth startups in the data space.

Wakhlu grew up in India and studied Computer Engineering at Illinois Tech in Chicago. She loves to travel and has visited thirty-three countries. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their sixty plants.

Back to top

Speaking and Workshop Topics

My data sessions empower data practitioners and enable data partners to better understand the nuances of working with data. The talks and workshops include best practices, frameworks, case studies, and live examples that can help businesses succeed by leveraging data effectively.

Top sessions for data: In addition to the presentation and workshop topics above, I also offer a Panel Discussion or an Ask Me Anything (AMA) about other topics related to data and technology. The content and format for these topics can be customized based on the needs of your audience.

Themes for add-on topics:
  • Subscription Success: Lessons from the field about subscription excellence for SaaS and consumer subscription companies
  • Running Impactful Teams: Getting the best out of your team through effective goal-setting and clear communication
  • Hiring & Retention Done Right: How to hire, grow, and retain an amazing team
  • Intro to Management: Frameworks, strategies, and tips for first-time technology managers
  • My Journey: My path to multiple Head of "X" roles as a woman of color in tech
  • The Crooked Path: Career transitions between Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Data
  • Intro to Angel Investing: Short overview of my experience and how I got into angel investing
  • Company Spotlights: Short overview of my experience at various companies - Strava, Komodo Health, Salesforce, or Fitbit

"Data Quality: Preventing, Diagnosing & Curing Bad Data"

Uncover the secrets to harnessing quality data for amplifying business success. This talk equips you with invaluable strategies and proven frameworks to navigate the data lifecycle confidently. Learn to spot and eradicate low-quality data, fortify decision-making, and build trust with data. With streamlined prevention strategies and hands-on diagnostics, optimize efficiency and elevate your company's data-driven initiatives.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Data practitioners who want to get better at their foundational skills
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to invest in good data quality, especially those who make decisions based on that data
The audience will learn:
  • What is bad data
  • Why data quality matters
  • Fundamentals of the data lifecycle
  • How and where to prevent data quality errors
  • How to diagnose and debug bad data
  • Coding best practices for data quality alerts
  • How to fix bad data issues
  • Strategies to get cross-functional buy-in for prioritizing data quality

"Data Quality: Data Fitness for a Healthy Business"

Businesses use data to make good decisions, that can help supercharge positive outcomes. If the data they use to make those decisions are of low quality, there is a high chance that the results will be low quality as well. Inaccuracies and biases in your data can result in costly mistakes. In this talk, I highlight how business leaders and data partners can work effectively with data teams to prioritize good data quality.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Business leaders who want to understand the nuances of data quality issues
  • Any crossfunctional (XFN) partner looking to work together with data teams and invest in good data quality
The audience will learn:
  • What is bad data
  • How bad data can cost an organization
  • Fundamentals of the data lifecycle
  • Prevent, diagnose, and cure data quality issues
  • Cross-functional responsibilities for data quality
  • Measuring data quality success

"Data Storytelling"

Successful products are built on good decisions. Effective decision-making requires the right ingredients of data, visualization, and a compelling narrative. This talk introduces each of those components and highlights the nuances of using them to get the right outcomes for business success. You will learn to drive change through an organization with impactful data storytelling.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Data Scientists/Data Analysts who want to influence key decision-makers to make data-informed decisions
  • Any cross-functional professional (marketing, ops, product) who wants to understand the value of storytelling through data, and get better at it
The audience will learn to:
  • Craft a good data problem through its components
  • Use best practices for turning raw facts into useful information
  • Understand the basics of good visualization and chart types
  • Make visuals relevant and easier to absorb
  • The ingredients of a compelling narrative
  • Constructing your story in an engaging manner
  • Creating space for action, follow-ups, and iterations

"Debiasing the Data Lifecycle"

Biased data, results in biased decision-making. Making sure that at every step of the data lifecycle, we make conscious attempts to debias the data is an important responsibility for all data scientists. In this talk, I highlight the typical data lifecycle, and how to intentionally prevent biases at every step.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • All types of data practitioners
  • Cross-functional professionals who interact with data
The audience will learn:
  • What does data bias look like
  • Why preventing data bias is important
  • Principles to prevent biased data
  • How to debias the data lifecycle

"Building an Effective Data Strategy"

Businesses that invest in an intentional data strategy do better than the ones that don't. A good data strategy ensures that your organization is using all its data assets most effectively. This talk walks through the what, why, how, who, and when of a data strategy.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • All types of data practitioners
  • Cross-functional professionals who interact with data
The audience will learn:
  • What is a good strategy and why do you need one
  • How to make an effective data strategy
  • Getting buy-in for a data strategy

"Thoughtful Analytics to Drive Product Success"

Successful products are built based on good data analytics. Great analysts thus know the importance of being disciplined about how to leverage data for building a product. Aligning the data capabilities with the product roadmap and using it to improve the product’s maturity is where thoughtful analytics come into play. This talk unravels a robust four-step framework to generate the maximum value for your business using analytics.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Data analysts, especially product analysts
  • Cross-functional professionals who partner with data analysts
The audience will learn:
  • Guiding principles of effective product analytics
  • The 4-step framework of 'Thoughtful Analytics'
  • Real-world examples of framework application

"Data-driven Product Success"

Products are successful when there is clear alignment on the goals and an execution strategy that enables a clear roadmap. This talk walks through the framework of measuring success and building alignment for your product roadmap so that you build the most valuable products.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Product leaders, product analysts
  • Cross-functional professionals who partner with product teams
The audience will learn:
  • Defining product opportunities and estimating ROI
  • Stack-ranking efforts on a product roadmap
  • Measuring success

"V2MOM Planning Process"

V2MOM is a strategic planning and goal-setting framework that stands for Vision, Value, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures. The framework was popularised by Salesforce. This talk explains the benefits and execution plan for establishing a V2MOM planning process in your company.

Ideal audience for this session:
  • Program Managers, Product Managers, Data Scientists
  • Business leaders looking for more effective planning tools
The audience will learn:
  • V2MOM benefits
  • A Strategy to roll out the V2MOM process

Back to top

Past Clients and Testimonials

I've had the privilege of working with some amazing organizations. Click here for an extended list of prior speaking engagements.

Past Data Clients

Shailvi Wakhlu data client logos

Client testimonials

Seema S

"Thanks for your awesome talk yesterday for LATech4Good's Ethics in Data workshop. I learnt a lot and thanks for sharing the framework too."

Christine D

"I really found your speech insightful and I’do really like your approach."

Shannon M

"I appreciate your resources and the direct actions instead of just providing hypothetical solutions."

Back to top

Additional Data Offerings

The following resources supplement my speaking sessions.

Consulting & Advising

I work with Seed-stage and Series A companies that are hungry to invest early in their data processes, assets, teams, and tooling. My services include doing technical audits, setting the data strategy, aligning the C-suite on data investments, and coaching your junior data staff.


The course is best for those who prefer learning in a small group setting with peers, with hands-on exercises. The course supplements my talks with more depth.

1:1 Coaching

The most personalized way you can get guidance on your data career is to set up 1:1 coaching sessions with me. Coaching is customized to your situation, specific goals, and your challenges. My recommendation is to start with one session to explore a mutual fit. I have coached ~500 students/mentees over the years.

Videos & Articles

Over the last seven years, I have created a lot of free content on data. Check out my videos and articles that are accessible in the public domain.
Additionally, you can follow me on LinkedIn to get notified of my latest posts on data.

Back to top