3 ways government is investing in big data

Stephanie Melonibig data, governmentBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

Big data is shaping up to be one of the bigger areas of IT growth within government. The federal market is expected to grow to $9 billion in 2018 and continue growing at an annual rate of 10 percent for the next several years.

Several factors are driving the growth, including the government’s increased attention to its data. The amount it collects and analyzes will only increase with more devices, sensors and upgrades of legacy enterprise systems. Internet of Things (IoT) will be a key driver for agencies that want to revolutionize their data and analytics practices.

The government will also be looking at data management and analytics solutions to improve operations, finance, human resources and healthcare challenges. Data analytics is vital to all government agencies, as analytics can help respond to cyber challenges and save money—two hot buttons for all government customers.

Here are some areas that are picking up steam across public sector agencies:

Smart Cities

Cities are using their data to increase public safety and improve citizen services. If you sell IoT-related technologies to government, state and local governments are the number one customer you should be paying attention to.

As part of “Smart Cities” initiatives, cities are examining how to collect and manage sensor data to help predict crime, traffic bottlenecks and even know where to direct resources to fix potholes before they happen. Using data integration from IoT devices like parking meters can help a city understand their maintenance costs and to optimize the fees they collect.

The federal government will be slower to adopt IoT solutions, so SLED is the main place where this level of sensor data analysis is taking place.

Department of Defense (DOD) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The DOD, eager to continue to develop adversary overmatch capabilities, has begun investing more heavily in autonomous systems that rely on cloud, big data and artificial intelligence. Autonomous systems will likely play a key role in the development of the Third Offset Strategy, which aims to ensure military superiority.

The DOD spent about $2.5 billion on artificial intelligence in 2017 and that’s expected to increase for the foreseeable future. Specific investments DOD agencies are making when it comes to AI are natural language processing, machine and deep learning and supercomputing. Agencies with an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission have been some of the larger spenders, and technology companies can expect agencies to diversify use cases for machine learning and AI as capabilities continue to mature.

Health and Human Services (HHS)

A more specific government initiative is HHS’ attempt to use big data analysis to understand and potentially end the ongoing opioid crisis. The recently passed FY19 budget allocated $10 million to address the crisis. This will involve analyzing medical billing data to determine high-risk cases and looking for patterns in the data that uncover drug abuse. States will need to share their data to enable prescription drug monitoring programs. Some states are already benefiting from this kind of analysis and have reported drops in overdoses.

HHS even recently hosted a “code-a-thon” so industry could demonstrate solutions that HHS doesn’t yet employ. Some of the solutions being considered to improve public health include data visualization, predictive analytics and data search and pattern analysis.

Click here to learn more about how immixGroup’s Market Intelligence organization can help you sell big data solutions to the government.

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