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Data Literacy

Do you know what a "PIDD" is?  A PIDD is a Perpetual Involuntary Data Donor. Surveillance capitalists love PIDDs because PIDDs materially support the data extraction industry by unwittingly surrendering their personal information, paying for the data's transport/storage, and tolerating resulting poor Internet/technology performance.

Today, this quiet industry collects massive data about people to modify and control their societal behavior. Exploiting the citizens' low data literacy, the surveillance capitalists manage a significant portion of Internet traffic and consumer interaction. Three things increase the magnitude of the challenge:

– Data volume continues faster than we can process.
– Poor data interchange costs drain citizen and
    organizational resources and productivity.
– Society's reliance on technologies has not
    materially addressed this gap.

Below are a couple of talks that I have given on the topic.

Achieving Higher Productivity for Citizens, Knowledge Workers, and Organizations

A Digital Civics Framework (DCF) provides a guide to tackling the challenge of increasing the data literacy of billions of citizens or at least those connected to the internet. We objectively outline levels and types of data knowledge areas required suggest several exercises that will help citizens interact productively with data-driven society. Unfortunately, far too many PIDDs allow surveillance capitalists to monitor their data and at their expense. What is worse is that this is being done to support ‘better’ advertising (at its most benign) and to change behavior (at its most dangerous). Completing this material will help prepare you to interact with our ever present data world equipped with a common understand including standard vocabulary, process understanding, and specifically articulated needs.

You can access the Table of Contents or the Foreword if you want to dive deeper.

Also included are:

  • Five levels of data literacy organized into a Digital Civics Framework for everyone

  • 30 specific, citizen knowledge data areas required by organizational who to ‘do more with data'

  • A 12-step program for improving organizational data literacy

  • The Data Doctrine™ (V2) specifying objectively what it means to put data first

Data Literacy

“Literacy” is far more than the ability to read and write. Its definition implies much about our capacity to obtain and master knowledge generally and offers an opportunity and grounds for the basis of mastery. Data Literacy provides an amazing framework that will allow a mobile data spreader to move from a crawler to a walking knowledge worker to a running data professional should they so choose. Another masterpiece from the visionary that taught us that data is ‘soil’ not ‘oil’!

Michael Leahy Maryland Secretary of Technology

Finally! A book that explains Data Literacy in simple terms providing real-world context to a concept defined and debated by data professionals, executives (CDOs), business analysts, academics, and consultants. It provides relatable examples for everyone to identify bad data behaviors and learn good data hygiene. It presents clear and actionable activities to raise data acumen through tiered teaching curriculum and phased organizational actions. It is a must-read for executives and managers responsible for enterprise data management programs and strongly encouraged for all adults, especially parents.

Maria Voreh KPMG, Director, Fed CIO Advisory, former CDO FBI

“Data.” The word itself places a different image in your mind today than it did 20 years ago, which makes sense. Data is different. Aiken and Harbour present a thorough view of how data has become an anthropological movement and what organizations and individuals need to do. Data has entered all aspects of society. Aiken and Harbour present a thorough treatment of what you need to look out for and what to do about data in all of its forms.

John Ladley Thought leader and author of Data Governance: How to Design, Deploy, and Sustain an Effective Data Governance Program 2nd Edition
Michael Leahy Maryland Secretary of Technology

Making good decisions about anything takes good data. This book is a great reference for those who are seeking to understand the critical role of data in the evolving landscape of technology, business, governments, and your own day-to-day life.

Suzette Kent CEO Kent Advisory Services, former Federal Chief Information Officer/OMB

A thought-provoking look into the vast impacts of data illiteracy coupled with a practical approach to maximizing data’s value through improved data literacy.


Catheryn Clay Doss CDO Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, former CDO CapitalOne

Advance Praise for Data Literacy

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