In the Media/Interviews

I am regularly interviewed by publications including: USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Compliance Week, Federal Computer Week, NextGov and our good friends at WTVR.  A few samples are posted below.

Enterprise Intelligence EP #29

In this episode of Enterprise Intelligence, host Jason Cassidy sits down with Peter Aiken to discuss this huge problem and how a renewed focus on data literacy can have a significant impact. Learn more about it here:

Dataversity Talks

Our partners at Dataversity have just started their new podcast and they asked me to tell some of my old stories about how I got into data. I always ask this question when meeting new colleagues and the answers are always interesting but they seem to follow a pattern of stumbling around until one finds data as a career. Certainly, we can do better and collectively we are trying!

Anyway please enjoy this wonderful conversation with Shannon!

How to Conduct a Successful Data Management Assessment

Panel discussion at the 2022 CDO Summit

Data Literacy Lacks Definition

(US and Canada) Peter Aiken and Todd Harbour recently launched their third co-authored book, “Data Literacy: Achieving Higher Productivity for Citizens, Knowledge Workers, and Organizations”

In conversation with Althea Davis, Managing Partner and Chief Data Officer, Turn Key Technologies, Aiken and Harbour speak about the need for data literacy and the thought process behind their book.

Regarding “Data Illiterate Society,” a chapter in the book, Aiken says that both he and Harbour were frustrated with the approach to data literacy.

“First of all, we were preaching to the choir and that’s very comfortable. The real element of this is a societal one and that's the angle we took in the book. It was Todd who came up with the term ‘perpetual involuntary data donor.’ You are very much like the batteries in the movie The Matrix. Those would be the human beings that were supplying all of the energy for the machines to get their stuff. And it turns out there's an industry currently called surveillance capitalism that is designed to do exactly the same thing,” Aiken says.

Sharing his point of view, Harbour says that the scenario hasn’t changed much. “Like many of the things in the data space, data literacy lacks a common definition. Folks with an engineering background have their definition of a data-literate person. And they're referring to the ability and knowledge of using different tools and technologies to process and exploit data.”

Original posting:

Datapreneuer Podcast Series

The Datapreneuer podcast has produced a two-part series (EP12 & EP13) 1-hour program that makes it easy to exercise, travel, walk-the-dog, or other activity while listening to a discussion of the importance of data literacy to society.

Your household technology collects more data about you than you can imagine, and you have no idea what happens with that data.

Have you ever wondered what happens to the huge amounts of your private Data collected by social media websites and smart technology in your houses?

Pipeline Ransomeware

Expert: Hackers will continue cyber-attacks
because 'it is profitable' (12 May 2021)

Data security experts said attacks like this one are becoming almost commonplace because of a lack of investment in cybersecurity for infrastructure.

“It’s not something people think about because most of this stuff just works,” Peter Aiken, a data security expert and professor at VCU, said. “Because computing is ubiquitous, that means everything now needs to be protected. There’s no more of this, oh I’ll get to it later, because people are getting very good at the process of doing the ransomware and other types of hacking.”

2021 CDO & Data Leaders Global Summit

Here is a great panel about generating ROI from Data and Analytics from CDO Magazine's terrific event. More details are available at the CDO Magazine site.

While ROI is still a requirement to justify large investments in data initiatives, its definition, construct and perception has changed in the modern era. We begin by clearly describing this new understanding of ROI and how this alters the mindset to launch new initiatives. We will explore the opportunities to achieve return from data and analytics and the right way to focus energy to find those opportunities that matter most. We will then discuss how modern data platforms and new innovations are helping to reduce the “investment” part of the equation and accelerate the “time-to-market” for ROI.

NASCIO Voices Podcast

Amy and Matt talk with Maryland Secretary of Information Technology, Michael Leahy on how he became the state's technology leader, the importance of data privacy, Maryland's One-Stop Business Portal, legacy modernization, cybersecurity and giving work-from-home employees the best possible experience. Listen to the podcast by clicking below.


The last day of the MITIQ 2013 Conference was dedicated exclusively to Information Quality. Dave Vellante and Paul Gillin, theCube co-hosts, spent some time speaking with Peter Aiken, about new trends, including those pertaining to company strategy.

"Most companies don't have a Chief Data Officer. Should they?" asked Vellante. Aiken responded with an answer that left no room for doubt. Carefully describing the chief positions within an organization, he focused particularly on each job's responsibilities ...

"When we think of what a chief officer is in an organization, your Chief Financial Officer is focused on one thing and one thing only, and that's making sure that your fiscal assets of your organization are available to implement the strategy of the company. They don't do book keeping. Your Chief Medical Officer is focused on making sure the medical practices in the organization are the highest care, and supporting the goals of the organization. They don't do surgery. The Chief Risk Officer is focused on the risk aspects of the organization and they don't do software testing. The portfolio of what we ask our Chief Information Officers to do is enormous, and they are supremely talented and have gotten phenomenally good at what they do. We're talking email, we're talking backup and recovery and now we're adding Big Data topics into this as well. They are, quite frankly, juggling. In order for them to make more with data, something else has to give. As we all know in IT, we can't afford to let anything lax. The long answer to the question is YES, most organizations need a single individual to focus 100 percent on data, all the time."

Demystifying Big Data

Sarah McConnell invited me to speak about big data on her wonderful program "With Good Reason" and we had a terrific chat!

Sarah Sarah McConnell was kind enough to interview me about big data on her wonderful program "With Good Reason"

Equifax Data Breach

RICHMOND, Va. -- The credit reporting company Equifax's stumbling responses to consumer questions about the massive data breach it reported recently, have millions worried.  And they should be: as many as 143 million people are at risk of having their identities stolen.  Take a listen to what Peter Aiken, an Associate Professor of Information Systems at VCU’s School of Business says you should do and how this breach might be the most significant one yet. Check out the story by Bill Fitzgerald at WTVR.

Facebook to invest an additional $750 million in Henrico County

"This is a big, big, big flash drive. Every time you do a like on Facebook, a dislike, a post, it’s got to go somewhere and be recorded. This is what is going to be filling up that data center,” said Peter Aiken, Professor of Informations systems at VCU. "A lot of energy, a lot of machinery, and it’s really boring. It’s quiet, it’s cold.”  Check out the story by Jake Burns at WTVR.

What professors are learning about virtual classrooms

VCU Data Management professor Peter Aiken said he was pleased that all of his students so far have shown up for online instruction. Aiken said the half-semester of in-person instruction he got with his students helped ease the transition into virtual learning.

“So I know them at this point,” Aiken said. “If you start out with a personal meeting, beforehand. then the teleconference becomes a very good substitute, but it is harder to do. If we have to go into the fall semester, hopefully that won’t occur, but if we do have to go into the fall semester it’ll be a different game.”

Aiken said any student not familiar with virtual meeting platforms may want to try to become more comfortable with the technology since colleges and universities will likely utilize virtual instruction more often moving forward, but that education leaders need to figure out the “appropriate” role for online learning.  Check out the story by Jake Burns at WTVR.

Peter Aiken on the skills needed to manage data

Back when IBM was more involved in data and education, they held a series of conferences on these topics - here is an interview I did for them after a talk on Rethinking data education: data asset management requires business ownership that I gave!

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