Session 17-6

A 12-step Program for Improving Organizational Data Literacy

← Back to Agenda


Organizational data debt acts as a drag on all activities. Far too many organizations undertook to ‘get better with data’ without realizing the foundation changes that needed to occur. They were left without lasting improvements. Making a commitment to become data-centric, data-driven, data-first, data-focused, data-first, data-provocative (the list goes on), must be seen as more akin to life changing events of which the ubiquitous 12-step is the most famous. Considering there are more than useful variants of the original (AA), it seems time to make one for improving organizational data literacy. The program describes: • motivation for taking a broad approach, • required people, processes, and organizational activities. • organized into 12-steps These steps are required if organizations are to effect the necessary changes. Twelve-step programs are ritualistic for a precise reason—to stop bad habits, you must carefully replace them with better habits. Committing to 12 steps upfront, we will find it easier to achieve the critical mass required. Organizations can embark on their data improvement journey with their eyes wide open.


peter aiken

Founding Director, VCU/Anything Awesome