In his 2012 book, The Signal & the Noise (link 01 below), statistician Nate Silver explains how a period of great data dissemination is often followed by a period of strife. For example, while it is true that the invention of the printing press in 1440 led to the European Enlightenment and eventually to the Industrial Revolution of 1775, the ease of distribution of information created by the printing press first resulted in hundreds of years of war. This unsettling effect of data continues to this day. As an article in the Scientific American describes, while our own cognitive biases are the primary reason why we sometimes believe fake news, the proliferation of data compounds the problem (link 02 below). It is estimated that approx. 97 zettabytes of data is currently in circulation in 2022 and that this will grow by 85% to reach 181 zettabytes in 2025 (link 03 below). But neuroscientists believe that the human mind can only store about 100 terabytes of data (1 zettabyte = 1 billion terabytes, link 04 below).
Well now it is 2022 and it's great to see data and digital (D&D) on top of most T&Ed and L&D agendas! But how are we viewing training, talent development, and even organizational culture through the lens of D&D? Here are 5 takes on how training programs can be designed to address wider cultural implications of D&D:
- Understand the relationship between data and digital at your organization: How does your organization define data and its sources? How is data used? What is the role of data in defining digital strategies and vice versa? Design your learning strategies in alignment with these business decisions to demonstrate relevance and value.
- Drive awareness of the D&D training gap: A common approach in current D&D training programs is to design for 'level I', ie, to teach how to interpret certain types of data and how to use certain digital platforms and frameworks. While these provide foundational awareness, it is important to recognize new D&D capabilities (see #3) and to design programs supporting their growth.
- Identify new D&D capabilities: For example:
- Physical and virtual workplace dynamics
- Awareness of the digital self-identity; skills and behavior to build and maintain a successful digital identity
- Skills and behavior for data collaboration, negotiation, distribution, accuracy
- Skills and behavior in digital hierarchies, reputation, trust, and influence
- Skills and behavior in D&D discipline and well-being
Link 01: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Signal_and_the_Noise
Link 02: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/information-overload-helps-fake-news-spread-and-social-media-knows-it/
Link 03: https://www.statista.com/statistics/871513/worldwide-data-created/
Link 04: https://aiimpacts.org/information-storage-in-the-brain/