Want to Help Government Agencies with Their Big Data Strategy?

Stephanie Headshot 65x85 by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

After years of hearing buzz about Big Data, could it be that the government is actually starting to implement its use? According to a recent survey conducted by IDC Government Insights, the answer is yes. The survey gives insight into how government is using its data – along with what industry can do to help agencies improve upon their current Big Data Strategy and processes. It places most federal agencies at about the mid-point of the maturity cycle for Big Data adoption, which means that those agencies have a defined Big Data strategy and are generating repeatable results. These agencies have made a business case for the use of Big Data, but are still figuring out how to use big data technologies and data consistently. Being only halfway through to optimization also means that these agencies have a ways to go in order to overcome inefficiencies in process.

The survey pulled out characteristics of “high achievers” who had the most success with using big data. The behavior demonstrated by this group gives us a picture of what works best for government Big Data Solutions. High achievers used advanced analytic tools and applications for consuming data, tools for multi-dimensional analysis, and structured reporting tools. They also integrated their data (which is typically their agencies’ own transactional, structured data) with other types of data, like rich web media or geospatial records. The most successful users of Big Data solutions are using all the tools and data available to them.  Here are three ways that industry can help the government with Big Data:

  1. Data Integration

Vendors offering solutions that can help the government increase agency data integration by breaking through information “silos” and assist with collaboration across agencies can build the use case that these features lead to better Big Data projects and outcomes.

  1. Real Time Information Analysis

Another way to improve upon the current use of Big Data would be to speed up decision making. Currently, government mostly uses big data by hosting or storing it within a warehouse, and then running analysis on it. Using Big Data “in motion” would provide a more proactive approach. This would mean pulling out data from real-time information streams to determine what is pertinent and getting rid of unnecessary data in order to allow the government to make real time decisions. The real time analysis would allow the government to better keep up with constantly evolving threats.

  1. Automation

Automation is another important piece of the Big Data puzzle once an agency begins to achieve repeatable results. These kinds of solutions can offer the government applications and dashboards for risk management, decision making, and further collaboration.

Finally, don’t forget that people are an important part of the Big Data process: the most successful users have leadership buy-in on big data solutions – so when trying to sell your product, it will be important to meet with both end-users and leadership within the agency to evaluate potential results for their organization.

Vendors need to consider all of these together when selling Big Data technologies. The results of this government survey are very encouraging for industry most of the government is finding ways to use its data, and they need industry’s help as they implement technology solutions and mature their processes.

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