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Date: 2022-08-12 Page is: DBtxt003.php bk0008010-v2019
Burgess Book Manuscript
Basic Concepts for TrueValueMetrics
Version of 2010 by Section
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Chapter 8 ... Using True Value Metrics
8-1 Dataflows From Anyone … Anywhere

You Can Help!

There are many different ways to help

Data acquisition very important

TVM is driven by data … and designed to get data from everyone … and everywhere! The data are perhaps not very interesting in themselves … but become interesting after some organization and analysis.

TVM is designed in a modular way so that individual little bits of the system may be used and be worth doing. The system may be implemented at any scale … by anyone … and anywhere.

There first question is therefore where do you want to start? What bit of society interests you the most? What are the “low hanging fruits” … what area is success most needed … most likely?

What role do you want to play?

Do you want merely to be a casual contributor .. contributing little bits of information on an ad-hoc basis when it seems it might be useful. TVM aggregates information from all sorts of sources so that what emerges is a useful view of how well the society is working. Because of this every bit of information has utility.

Do you want to be involved in a more formal way through an organization that commits to using TVM as part of its routine performance reporting.

Do you want to be involved developing some aspect of TVM to suit a specific place or a specific part of the global economy … some specific sector.

Do you want to be involved in communicating something about TVM … whether it is the general idea that the TVM paradigm shift is needed … or whether it is some community analysis that has been done and needs to be seen.

Do you want to be involved with TVM as part of an Internet community … helping to promote TVM using “tweets” … or helping to get fans to “like” TVM … or building a web presence that makes TVM more and more visible as a new wave of relevant metrics for a modern smart society.

Paradigm shift is driven by people

A paradigm shift in the area of metrics is possible when it is driven by people. A few elite intellectuals may have good ideas, but these ideas matter little unless they are adopted by a lot of people. Everything in the area of business, politics and media has been moving in the direction of organizations become bigger and bigger. With the TVM paradigm shift … more and more people having a bigger say in the knowledge dimension of society and the economy.

Join the TVM network Join … it is important! By joining TVM … and building a big “membership” TVM will be taken more seriously than if it has just a few members. There is strength in numbers … so by “joining” you are helping to strengthen what TVM is trying to do.

Joining is easy … there is a webpage where you may join. Very simple … very quick. The URL is

Who you are is very important

Knowing who you are is important … in large part because the goal is to have reliable data that are agenda neutral and merely reflect facts as they seem to be. If your are known, the quality of the data that comes from you is also known by reputation.

Become a data contributor and friend of TVM

The more contributions there are the better. Joining TVM as a Data Contributor is very important for TVM since data are at the core of the TVM system. By becoming a TVM Data Contributor you become known to the TVM organization and the data you contribute gets a standing based on what TVM knows about you. Your reputation as a responsible contributor gets linked to the data you submit … and in due course the data in the TVM system has a high reliability.

A friend of TVM is more than merely signing up to join. There is a place for your profile … you can provide as little or as much personal profile information as you want. You may have your profile public or private or almost anything in between. In total, though, the more TVM and others know about you the better since everyone has a perspective on things that needs to be part of the analysis.

The quality of the data is determined to a considerable extent by the people who help with the acquisition of data. Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) was recognized as a serious computer problem in the 1960s … and this rule still applies. Knowing something about someone's background is very useful for many reasons … this is an example:

A simple example would be a person from New York making observations about a village in Haiti, and a Haitian from the village making observations about the same place. Quite likely there would be different ways to interpret what gets said.

Security … privacy Security and privacy are important matters that are taken very seriously. It is your choice whether you are a public member or a private member … or both. Everyone has a different security and privacy need, so what the TVM system does is very flexible.

Share … collaborate Build critical mass … build a movement?

There have always been lots of causes … lots of movements to change society. Only a relatively few have gained enough momentum to change much, but some of them have been impressive. Some of the big examples are:
  1. Ghandi in India
  2. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the United States
  3. The anti-apartheid movement against the South African apartheid regime
  4. Anti-war protestors in the Vietnam War era

Most movements are not about money accounting and organizational profit but are about social value. While it may not be quantified value … it is implicit in the success of these movements that the value proposition was favorable to society, or at least to the part of society that was engaged in the movement.

If you share data and collaborate it become possible to build a movement … and with data do some very useful things. Most movements have a fairly clear idea of what they want to change … in the case of TVM we want value metrics to be in play as much as money profit and growth metrics. We want people to be talking about socio-economic progress as much as they are talking about stock market performance and profits.

Media about value metrics … not only profit

Bloomberg News does corporate profit, stock markets and economic growth dialog 24 hours a day seven days a week on Bloomberg terminals, the radio and TV … and now in the print media as well. When every community on the planet has True Value News about socio-economic progress and performance … we will have done something!

Social networks

Social networks have emerged as movements that have gained huge followings. It is not clear that these networks are of benefit to society … though their popularity suggests that they have value to the participants though maybe not to society in the long run. The opportunity for TVM is to combine the social network movement with value data to create paradigm change around the metrics being talked about in the ubiquitous media.

Members of the TVM movement are critical to success. They must do everything … and have a computer platform and analysis routines that help. The value of TVM data lies with its uncomplicated association with facts that can be verified easily in a community buy anyone with an interest in the data and the community.

People are the basis for a “movement” … the basic for a team that will change the paradigm for socio-economic metrics. TVM is about people and metrics … not just about metrics. People change things … metrics are there to help!

Focus on things you know

Do not worry about things you do not know. Others might know about other things. Focus on things you understand. There is strength in numbers … and variety. The purpose of TVM and data acquisition is to combine the strength and knowledge of a lot of different people so that when it is all put together it gives a good profile of much of what is going on. What one person does not know and finds difficult may be something that others know about and find easy.

Linking TVM data with technology

Use easy data to make lists

TVM uses “easy data” … defined as the simplest possible data that are easily available and reflect the “facts” on the ground that are important. Maybe this data are already compiled in an alternative format … maybe in old reports … and maybe just well known by local people and not documented anywhere.

Often the information will not in a form that translates easily into the form normally used for formal reporting or academic study … but the data are available, and together with advanced “common sense” should make initial analysis and planning relatively quick.

As a broad generalization, local people know a lot. They know what they need … know what resources they have … and to a large extent know what constraints they are facing. Also in broad terms, local people may not know the possibilities there are for solutions.

The first work … get some easy data organized

The first work that needs to get done is getting some “easy data” organized. This is facilitated by the “True Value Metrics Community Workbook”. What this does is to get a first cut at a Community Value Balance Sheet … a record of the “State” of the community.

Iteration … do it over and over again!

New accounting systems … or new data systems take time to get things right. Several iterations are needed before the reports are “right” … and the process is not very pretty. Initially an iterative process merely improves the correctness of the data … maybe after six iterations the data may be used to start to measure progress and performance. If the iterations take place quickly, the sooner it is possible to have metrics that have utility.

In this process it should become possible to identify what it is important for the community, and what is not.

Write down … list ... the obvious

By writing down the obvious … it also becomes clearer why the obvious has got this way. Note the time and place. Look for descriptions of the obvious from other places and other times … what other obvious connections seem to be appearing?

Start making “skinny” lists

A list is easy to make … and is a useful building block for further data acquisition later on. A list eventually may be translated into a “balance sheet” that reflects “State” … but for the moment it is simply a list. Start with “skinny lists” … these are lists that have many entries but not much detail in each one. Some of the possible lists are:
  1. People … contact info … interests
  2. People … to build a profile of the population … establish needs … resources
  3. Organizations … contact information … interested
  4. Needs … from the perspective of people and organizational capacity
  5. Infrastructure …
  6. Needs … from the perspective of lack of infrastructure
  7. Places of importance / interest
  8. Resources of importance / interest
  9. Issues of importance / interest
  10. Needs … from the perspective of lack of resources
  11. Activities … from the perspective of potential

If the community is “new” in the TVM system these lists are a start to building the knowledge base about the community.

If the community is already a part of the TVM system these lists add to the knowledge base about the community …
  1. One step is to have the lists as separate sources of data
  2. Another step is to integrate the data into one comprehensive “list”

The comprehensive list is something that is widely accessible … the source lists are only accessible to “administration”.

If the list already exists, improve it!

If the list for the community already exists, add to the list or improve the accuracy of the data by supplementing what is already there. The process of improving data is iteration … going back to the data and getting it better and better.

The TVM system does not “lose” old data but timestamps the data so that the information can be tracked over time … and moves forward with what will be more and more precise data as time goes by. TVM expands existing lists … moving from simple “skinny” lists to an expanded set of data that includes more facts about the more important issues.

Use technology to organize data and get it stored

When the lists exist … technology can be used to organize data and get it stored. Mobile phones, “clouds” and solid data

Many of the ideas in TVM are very old … but the ability for them to work now is that the technology to support them has become low cost and ubiquitous. Everything that once would have needed to be “on paper” now can be in “electronic form”, perhaps on a mobile phone and instantly incorporated into the TVM “cloud” database system.

All the easy data and lists are designed as data input forms on the TrueValueMetrics website … accessible with a basic browser and some full screen mobile phones. All the contributors and members of the TVM network are able to join “online” and include a profile as in other “social networks”. All the issues that have an impact on a community may be shared through a TVM blog with comments and discussion.

The standard value lists are maintained online. They may be modified based on user input. Separate standard values are used for each community, each country as well as a global average.

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