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Big Data, Big Challenges

It’s no surprise to any of us by now: Big data is changing the way government operates. With the huge amounts of data that the public sector is collecting, managing and storing, agencies are devising strategies and approaches to utilize and create services geared to the public using this data.

On Wednesday, nearly 80 government and industry employees gathered for a GovLoop in-person event focused on the Big Data Frontier (you can read our top 5 insights we took away about big data here). The panels and speakers shared experiences and insights from distinguished public sector and industry leaders, and discussed applicable case studies.

While the crowd expressed excitement about the potentials of big data and the way some of their agencies are using it, there was also plenty of shared frustration. Just because big data is there doesn’t mean everybody knows what to do with it — or how to best use it.

Wanting to address that, GovLoop asked several attendees to tell us their biggest challenges when it comes to big data. Read some of the interesting responses below.

“There’s an aversion of federal agencies to leverage other organization’s data and data of other efforts.”

“There are too many different softwares and data systems trying to interact.”

“It’s difficult to get executive leadership buy-in on big data. There’s defensiveness.”

“Not sure how to answer the classic question: What’s in it for me?”

“Leadership doesn’t support business needs for data collection or serving.”

“There’s a lack of organizational support, and we’re not given the funds to support the system properly.”

“The government isn’t yet prepared and educated enough when it comes to big data.”

Regarding that last point: That’s what we’re here to change. If you want to learn more about big data, make sure to download our guide, Innovations that Matter: Examining the Big Data Frontier.


And if you’re dealing with big data challenges at your agency, share them with us below. After all, we learn more by acknowledging challenges and obstacles than by ignoring them. Let’s come up with some answers together.

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