Our Story

Data Crossroads Academy was founded in January 2023 by Irina Steenbeek. It is a place where data management professionals, as well as professionals with other areas of expertise can gain and expand their knowledge of data management, as well as upgrade their practical skills.

A few words from Irina...

I started my career in data management from scratch in 2010. I gathered and compiled information from Google and then implemented it in practice in a mid-size company I did not follow any courses or know about DAMA-DMBOK2 publications. All my knowledge and skills I gained by doing things. I shared my experience in four books. Now the time is come to find a new way to do it: by delivering online training courses. For this purpose, I established the Data Crossroads (DC) Academy.

This Academy offers multiple resources for data management and business professionals to gain knowledge and upgrade their skills.

These resources include:

  • Recording of free webinars
  • Training programs that consist of several interrelated training courses
  • Individual training course

All these programs and courses are based on the a few “golden” rules.

I learned the difference between “training” and “teaching” years ago. Teaching is about getting knowledge, and training focuses on developing practical skills.  At that time, I was working as a training manager for the World Bank. I created and delivered multiple workshops in the areas of a company’s restructuring; business planning; financial, business, and marketing strategies. I trained businesspeople and other trainers. Later, I applied this experience to develop a training academy for an international ERP company. This experience let me formulate several “golden” rules of effective training.

Rule 1: Training must lead to developing skills trainees can apply in their practice.

Knowledge is useless if trainees can’t apply and elaborate on it in their daily jobs. To enable it, an effective training session should include little theory and a lot of practical exercises. The more participants work, the better results they gain.

Rule 2: Trainees must use a business case during the training session.

It is preferable if participants explore their real business cases. Otherwise, participants can use a realistic business case to develop skills.

Rule 3: Training materials must include models, methods, and templates that participants can use later in their practices.

Reusable templates are one of the key deliverables of an effective workshop: participants must be able to apply new knowledge and skills in practice.


Data management is a multidisciplinary and evolving business area. So, the Data Crossroads Academy will develop itself and assist its participants in their professional growth.

Meet Irina Steenbeek

Dr. Irina Steenbeek is a data management practitioner with more than 10 years of experience. The key areas of her professional expertise are the implementation of data management frameworks in mid-sized companies and data lineage. Additionally, Irina has practical experience in software implementation such as ERP and DWH/BI, management consultation, financial and business controls, and data science.

Throughout the years, she has worked for global institutions as well as large- and medium-sized organizations in different sectors, including but not limited to financial institutions, professional services, and IT companies.

In 2016, she founded Data Crossroads – a training and coaching services enterprise in the area of data management. Data Crossroads focuses on assisting companies in improving their decision-making and company performance by getting control over their data and information resources.

Irina is a strong believer that the success of data management initiatives is based on the combination of a pragmatic approach, clear and transparent methodology, and time. She has shared her approach and implementation experience by publishing The “Orange” Model of Data Management, The Data Management Toolkit and The Data Management Cookbook. She is also the author of various white-papers and articles on the topic of data management.

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