The Future Role of Big Data in Government

Stephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Government agencies The Future Role of Big Data in Government have moved beyond merely defining what Big Data is and are now evaluating how they can use Big Data to help advance their agencies’ mission. At last week’s Government Leadership in the Data Age event, hosted by immixGroup and FedInsider, government panelists addressed the challenges of working with agency data. Much of this discussion centered on making data fit-for-use. Tony Summerlin, the Chief Data Officer for the Federal Communications Agency, said the most important piece of performing data analytics is knowing why you are collecting the data in the first place. Analysis for analysis’ sake won’t help the government answer critical questions — those need to be asked at the onset of any analytics project.

Linda Powell, the Chief Data Officer for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mentioned a similar issue with the data itself, pointing out meta-data is the key to performing analytics. Without good meta-data, the government isn’t able to extract actionable intelligence from their data. She also mentioned data protection will always be a key element to data management and analytics. The CFPB has taken their security standards an additional step beyond those set by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). Right now NIST is seeking to define government Big Data use cases and requirements via the Big Data Interoperability Framework. This will be a hot topic of conversation at future Big Data events, as this framework will affect security standards, architectures and the future of data science in the government.

Both anonymizing data and cleaning it up were major pain points panelists said their agencies have faced. This is definitely an area where COTS products come into play. In order to implement more Big Data projects, agencies need their analysts to be able to perform the actual analytics and not waste time tagging data. In addition to the actual analysis piece, COTS solutions also have an important role to play in laying the groundwork for successful Big Data projects. Without quality data that is cleaned up and ready to be analyzed, no meaning can be derived from it. Effective data management is the foundation for successful data analytics.

Understand how you can make your Big Data solution resonate with government agencies by viewing the on-demand recording from immixGroups’s FY16 Big Data Sales Opportunities at Federal Agencies briefing that took place on Thursday, June 18. In addition to a Market Intelligence presentation on Big Data trends, key organizations, and future IT investment programs in government, the event featured government speakers addressing their agencies’ individual projects, challenges, and opportunities. Click here to view the on-demand recording.

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