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FCW : April 30, 2013
his past January, IT heavy- weights from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as other government agencies, industry, and academia, got together to dis- cuss the critical intersection of big data and the cloud. While govern- ment agencies have been slower to adopt new technologies in the past, the event underscored the fact that the public sector is lead- ing -- and in some cases creating -- big data innovation and adoption. Cloud is a multiplier when used with other technology, and is ca- pable of big things when it comes to big data, according to U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel. Combining big data with cloud delivery and com- pute power might help create new industries and provide bene ts to every citizen. "The government is sitting on a treasure drove of data," he said during a speech at the two-day NIST Joint Cloud and Big Data Workshop event. "We're opening data, and looking at what we can do. We can greatly impact the lives of every American by just unlock- ing simple prices of data." He also pointed to the formation of companies built and founded completely on government data. Nowhere to go but up Research and consulting rm Del- tek Inc. says cloud environments are "optimal" for using analytics since cloud providers are investing in the best analytical and visual- ization tools available today. In addition, big data projects require processing speed and the most up-to-date technologies, two other cloud provider specialties. But most important, said Richard Blake, senior technical advisor in the Enterprise GWAC Division of the Integrated Technology Service at the General Services Administra- tion's Federal Acquisition Ser- vice, is that big data in the cloud enables something that is crucial for innovation, analysis and return- on-investment: The ability to share resources between agencies. Evan Quinn, a senior principle analyst with research rm ESG agrees. "Big data is an incremental learning process and when you can share expertise and resources you can score more small wins and progress more quickly than you may have on your own," he says. The cloud also allows agencies to make use of what, in the past, might have been left out of the analytic loop. As highlighted in Deltek's Federal Big Data Outlook 2012-2017, data is available from a wide variety of sources, including agency data such as data logs, space telescopes, reconnaissance, citizen information, and mission critical apps. However, data is also being sourced from the outside as well --- in the form of email, text messages, pictures, em- bedded sensors, social media, GPS data, purchase data, traf c cams and market research. With the cloud, it becomes easier to store, analyze, and access this information. One promising approach is to ensure that data is machine-read- able -- that is, that it can move from system to system without requiring human intervention or translation. "Government agencies are ordered to look at the data they produce, catalog data, start to publish data, and think about machine-readable as the new default inside government," Van- Roekel explained. "Any time we're building a new system, or amend- ing a system, we focus on machine readability both on the collection, as well as getting agencies to develop [application programming interfaces] around their data." Sponsored Report BEST PRACTICES FOR BIG DATA CHALLENGES Big data has big potential in the cloud FULL REPORT ONLINE Go to FCW.com/2013BigDataChallenges 2. Sizing Up Big Data: 4 Ways to Succeed 3. Big data's security imperative 4. Big Data Goes Mobile 5. Visualization drives home big data's value Best Practices for Meeting Big Data Challenges Report Articles
April 15, 2013
May 15, 2013