A Is For Analytics: A Children’s Book Designed to Create a New Data Literate Generation

Guest post by Jason Thompson, CEO of 33 Sticks.

Starting my analytics journey

In 2004, I found myself out of a job, scared, worried, not knowing where my next paycheck would come from until a friend reached out to me saying, “hey, do you want to join this small company called Omniture, we do web analytics and I think you’d be really good at it.” 

Little did he know but that conversation changed the whole trajectory of my career, actually the whole trajectory of my life. 

Starting my analytics journey at the early stages of Omniture was an incredible experience, from there I went on to build an analytics program for a large online dating company and then bounced around a few consulting companies until things came full circle. 

Blazing my own trail

In 2013, I found myself out of a job, scared, worried, not knowing where my next paycheck would come from, until I decided it was time to do things the way I wanted to do them. So along with my business partner, Hila Dahan, we started 33 Sticks, a boutique analytics company that changes the way people think about consulting, analytics, and their lives. 

Jason, along with his business partner Hila Dahan, are the co-founders of 33 Sticks, a boutique analytics agency that advises some of the largest and most recognizable brands in the world on how to use data to create immensely positive customer experiences.

Through almost 20 years of experience, one of the biggest problems we’ve observed, not just within companies but within schools, communities, and the world, is a general lack of data literacy. Not only has this lack of data literacy translated into missed business opportunities to create really positive experiences for customers, but in a more important and serious way, the lack of data literacy has allowed companies, journalists, and politicians to effectively distort data in order to create divisiveness and chaos.

The lack of data literacy has allowed companies, journalists, and politicians to effectively distort data in order to create divisiveness and chaos.

Jason Thompson, CEO of 33 Sticks

The need for data literacy

While we are actively doing a lot of work at the higher education level, we felt education about data needed to start at a much younger age. And so the idea to create a children’s book was born. We believe that if we can get children interested in data and analytics at a very young age, we have the ability to create a new generation of critical thinkers that can help take back our world from all the bad actors who have used data for evil rather than good. 

While the book is targeted at early readers, it’s designed in such a way that it will be entertaining and educational for people of all ages. We’ve taken key analytics terms for each letter in the alphabet and paired the letter with a formal definition, a more child friendly explanation, and a corresponding illustration to help the reader visualize the concept. 

Initial sketches for A is for Analytics. This children’s book co-authored by 33 Sticks co-founders, Jason Thompson and Hila Dahan, addresses a need to start the data literacy education at a much earlier age.

The initial sketches for the book were made in January of 2021 and it has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding process getting the book ready for print and ready to sell to the public. 

It would have been much easier to grab a few terms, slap a simple definition on the words and add in some stock photos, but we wanted to do this right. We wanted this book to be taken seriously, as the challenge we are looking to solve is an incredibly serious challenge. 

The book will be available to purchase in early December 2021 through Amazon. We are also looking into other distribution options, including offering the book through our own website as well as placing the book in local bookstores and boutique retailers. 

This is just the beginning of a much larger mission that we are taking on to use data to create more good in the world. Stay tuned.


About Jason Thompson

Jason, along with his business partner Hila Dahan, are the owners of 33 Sticks, a boutique analytics agency that advises some of the largest and most recognizable brands in the world on how to use data to create immensely positive customer experiences. Hila is a regular speaker at analytics industry events, while Jason works directly with several universities to help shape the next generation of data analysts.

As an analytics and optimization expert, he brings over 20 years of experience, going back to being part of the original technical implementation team at Omniture. Jason has been a key guide of MarTech strategy for global brands such as Major League Baseball, Viacom, Southwest Airlines, Target, and many others. 

Jason also has a passion for teaching, volunteering his time as a mentor at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business and as an Executive Board Member at East Tennessee State University’s Department of Media and Communications and Industry Fellow at ETSU’s Research Corporation.

You can follow Jason on Twitter to stay connected to his mission.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s