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Go Further Faster – How to Leverage Your Data Across Your Agency

This post was written by Sharon McCoy, GovLoop Research Fellow, and Patrick Fiorenza, Senior Research Analyst.

Today, agencies are collecting, storing and managing more data than ever before. Across all sectors, organizations are exploring how to extract knowledge and value from the data they collect. Leveraging data in the public sector presents unique challenges for agencies. Agencies often must navigate complex records management requirements, industry specific regulations and protect confidential data and information. Yet, even though challenges persist, there is enormous opportunity for agencies to leverage data to achieve new mission value, while remaining compliant with regulations and mandates at all levels of government.

Post Highlights

  • MarkLogic will be hosting their annual Government Summit, highlighting how agencies can leverage big data
  • Big data is changing the way government engages with citizens and delivers services
  • Post includes a case study from Fairfax County, and how they consolidated data to improve transparency and efficiency around property data.

For each agency, big data will mean something different, but the key is looking at the volume, velocity and variety of data that your agency collects, and unlocking new insights and improving your decision-making. For one agency this could be petabytes of information, for another terabytes – but the key is focusing on using your data to fulfill your organizations objectives in new ways, regardless of size.

Agencies have faced challenges as they start big data initiatives. One of the core challenges is that often data rests in silos and is dispersed across the entire agency. However, administrators know there is great opportunity in connecting the dots. For instance, the education department may collect unique data that could be leveraged to improve nutritional programs by the health department. In these cases, data may exist, but is locked in silos – and is hard to combine using traditional relational databases, because the data is in many different formats. What’s needed is a robust, collaborative data infrastructure, which is accessible across an entire agency.

There have been countless examples of government agencies leveraging big data to fulfill mission need. MarkLogic shared a great example from Fairfax County, which highlights how the county has lowered total cost of ownership, increased efficiency and has promoted open government within the county. The county was seeking a better way to share property data. Working with MarkLogic, Fairfax County created a new land data repository, based on the MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database. One challenge that Fairfax County faced was responding to high-volume requests from constituents in regards to property history. Volumes of data, often in different file formats, rested in databases across the county. The agency soon realized that by consolidating the data, they could improve the accessibility, productivity and information sharing practices within the county. The new system allowed not only employees to search across databases to find information, but also gave citizens an online resource to search property data, which is accessible on smartphones.

The success of this program should not be understated, especially when considering the size of the county. Fairfax County contains over 1 million residents, making it one of the largest counties in the United States. Additionally, their annual budget is larger than four state budgets. These statistics show the complexity and scope of services that the county runs. The Fairfax County example is just one of many ways that government agencies have been able to turn disparate data into essential organizational knowledge, that is searchable and usable, for many different business units.

If you are looking for additional recommendations on how to fully leverage your data, look no further than the upcoming MarkLogic Government Summit, which is taking place October 23 in Tysons Corner. The Summit will feature MarkLogic’s Enterprise NoSQL database platform and will offer attendees the opportunity to meet and hear from industry leaders and partners.

For those are unfamiliar with the Enterprise NoSQL platform, it allows organizations to easily and securely combine all types of structured, unstructured and semi-structured data so that they can build applications that allow users to analyze text, images, values, metadata, and geospatial data and to find connections across multiple data sources. The applications for the platform are numerous, and touch on many different areas of government. There are many case studies of success, including examples from the healthcare, defense, and intelligence communities, and also at the state and local level, like the Fairfax County example cited above.

These themes will be explored at the MarkLogic Government Summit, which will also be discussing innovative uses for the Enterprise NoSQL database platform. As an attendee, you will have the opportunity to not only hear from the speakers noted below, but also to ask them questions about their experience with Enterprise NoSQL. Panelists include:

  • Winslow Farrell, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Boeing
  • Steve Hamby, CTO, Orbis Technologies
  • Beverly Jamison, Sr. Director, ITS Architecture and Publishing Solutions, APA
  • Adam Lee, Director of Information Systems, IQ Solutions
  • Atul Ganatra, Enterprise Systems Architect, IQ Solutions
  • Suzanne Foss Chaffey, Solution Engineer, Intel, Esri

One panel that will be interesting for attendees will be, Learn from the Leaders of the Pack: Customer Panel. This panel will highlight early adopters of NoSQL and how it has transformed their organizations. Additionally, there will be a panel in the afternoon demonstrating how various applications have been built for and by government agencies, helping agencies understand their data and unlock new insights.

Again, this free event is on October 23, 2013. To RSVP and learn more about the event, including speaker bios and a schedule of presentations, click here.

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For more than a decade, MarkLogic has delivered a powerful, agile and trusted Enterprise NoSQL database platform that enables organizations to turn all data into valuable and actionable information. Organizations around the world rely on MarkLogic’s enterprise-grade technology to power the new generation of information applications. MarkLogic is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Washington D.C., New York, London, Frankfurt, Utrecht, and Tokyo. For more information, please visit www.marklogic.com.

MarkLogic is a registered trademark of MarkLogic Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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