Insights from the 4 April 2013 Government Big Data Forum: Part Two

On 4 April 2013, Carahsoft sponsored the Third Annual Government Big Data Forum. This post is the second in a series that seeks to capture key elements of the forum and keep the dialog going. This post captures a high level summary of our three keynote presentations.

Kirit Amin kicked off the morning with great context on where we have been and a bit on where we are going and some sage thoughts on what gaps are and ways to address them. As a metaphor he introduced an analogy of “Big Data Yodas,” a program that could accelerate the maximization of smart data use across the government. He also underscored the need for better training for our workers, so that they know both the right ways to do things and the wrong. Kirit likes to consider policies, directives, legislation and more into the “processes” category, these are all important elements. Moving these requirements in the right direction is key, as well as finding good ways to support them. Kirit believes that the technology is growing at the right pace to support missions.

Shawn Kingsberry gave an excellent overview of the amazing work they are doing at RATB. The RATB has created a big data capability that has turned into a repeatable process offering data visualization and data exploitation. The RATB rapidly fields technologies and uses a vast array of capabilities to create their offering. Leveraging public and private cloud solutions, the RATB is able to fail fast and succeed speedily. By trying out new capabilities in a smaller setting, the RATB is finding quality solutions for larger enterprises and programs.

Donna Roy of DHS spoke about the need to work on governance and potential data sharing issues in the government. She mentioned that while there is the potential for amazing Big Data solutions with the sharing of data, further work on Memoranda of Understanding and Memoranda of Agreements must be done first. Donna is working to develop a strategy to help share data legally, efficiently and securely across DHS. She offers the need for a Big Data strategy before any purchases or investments in hardware/software. We noted that the professional work by government leaders like Donna Roy and the broad team of others working these issues has significantly improved the taxonomy of languages we all use in discussing information sharing, knowledge exchange and Big Data analysis.

I’d like to invite you to take two actions towards building a stronger Big Data community. First, to ensure you get all these and other reviews of Big Data topics in our Government Big Data Newsletter, a weekly report you can sign up for here. Second, join the Disruptive IT group on LinkedIn. This is a member’s only group of technology professionals that discuss issues and actions around Big Data and other hot technology topics. We will see you there.

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