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FCW : March 15, 2014
The IBM Center for the Business of Government recently interviewed 28 public-sector CIOs at the federal, state and local levels about the challenges of implementing big-data projects. The ndings below are excerpted from a larger report, "Realizing the Prom- ise of Big Data," written by Arizona State University s Kevin Desouza. For the full report, go to http://is.gd/IBM_ Center_BigData. 1. Public agencies are in the early days of their big-data efforts. CIOs overwhelmingly report that they are just getting started with big-data efforts. While they see the value in syn- thesizing databases and using analyt- ics, the challenge of big data has over- whelmed them. Many CIOs also lack a tangible framework to guide their big-data efforts. The financial, policy, and pragmatic intricacies required to set up a big-data project are sometimes beyond the time constraints and expertise of many CIOs and their staff. In addition, the distinction between big data and conventional data is often not clearly understood. All CIOs are aware of the value proposition of data analytics for their agency. While they do not doubt that big data could revolutionize service delivery and streamline business operations, CIOs believe they have "limited bandwidth" to invest in these efforts. CIOs are also aware that at the pres- ent time, much of the existing data in their systems goes unanalyzed. 2. Many CIOs ght the perception that big data is a passing fad. CIOs say they have had to ght the per- ception that big data is just a buzzword or a fad. All CIOs note they have to tread carefully when discussing big- data efforts, and a large proportion even note that they have avoided using the term "big data" because of its nega- tive connotation in their agency. CIOs who had launched big-data efforts received support by focusing on the organizational and business value that would be gained from investments in data analytics. Technologies that would be used for data analysis were placed in the background and were never the focus of the conversation. 3. Most CIOs are now primarily dealing with the issue of managing large volumes of data, integrating data across database systems and building an analytical capacity to mine data. All of the CIOs interviewed are now dealing with structured data. None of the CIOs interviewed have begun to explore the intricacies of managing unstructured data. Even when it comes to structured data, most CIOs admit that they are not dealing with datasets that are truly big. They are experimenting with cre- ating executive dashboards and using information visualization techniques to make the large volumes of information easily accessible and comprehensible. 4. CIOs report that some big-data projects are now focused on stream- Here are 10 insights from IT leaders on the front lines of big-data deployments What CIOs say about big data DrillDown 22 March 15, 2014 FCW.COM We need to focus on analyzing the data we currently have stored [in our systems]. My guess is that we only analyze about 30 percent of it. We continue to build on a fragile foundation.... Data governance is not sexy and no one wants to doit,yetitisour Achilles' heel.
March 30, 2014