The 2016 Federal IT agenda emphasizes the need to make government “smarter” and more efficient. Without a doubt, data analytics technologies have great potential to accomplish that goal.
With analytics, federal agencies can run more effectively, manage tasks faster and be able to operate with less overhead. Most importantly, business intelligence is absolutely critical for helping government leaders balance high-level mission priorities with day-to-day duties.
In the private sector, applied analytics and big data technologies are major trends gaining momentum. According to Gartner, a leading analyst firm, 73 percent of private-sector enterprises are now using big data analytics or plan to start in the next two years. Similarly, in the healthcare sector, 88 percent of practices claim that analytics and business intelligence solutions are extremely or very important in making business decisions, according to HIT Consultant.
In law enforcement, analytics technologies are critical tools for tracking abnormal behavioral patterns or illegal activities, as well as observing and registering trends across vast pools of data. With the business case for analytics becoming stronger every day, government agencies are likely to drive a momentous adoption wave in 2016 and beyond. There are three main factors driving that trend.
Agile Processes – In the past, many business analytics solutions required a great deal of integration and were laddered with compatibility issues. Today, with the advancement of SaaS-delivered technologies, agencies can launch pilots and proof-of-value (POV) projects in a matter of hours, not weeks. The recognition of the benefits of agile processes has brought to light a new crop of government technologists, looking to enhance IT’s core functions through modular, process-driven improvements.
Advancement of Commercial Cloud Adoption – The adoption of cloud and mobile technologies is providing government officers with opportunities to derive efficiencies and save time, while operating with big data workloads. On-premise analytics deployments could involve significant operational risks and expensive infrastructure. The ongoing maintenance of on-premise systems alone could be daunting enough to discourage many organizations from launching pilots. By contrast, with cloud-based platforms, there is no need to setup infrastructure (hardware, operating systems, databases, application servers, etc.), create new integrations or deal with incompatibility issues.
Elevated Security Standards – In the age of cyberattacks, government leaders can be hesitant to pursue projects that carry perceived cybersecurity risk. Fortunately, the FedRAMP program provides a consistent assessment of necessary security controls and data protection measures so agencies can depend on certified companies to bring forward reliable technologies.
When it comes to data analytics, we are at the tipping point for seeing increased interest from all corners of the government marketplace. As more and more public agencies evaluate how they can apply analytics to their specific missions, we will see the growing acceptance of the technology as an integral part of doing business.
Laurel Fielding is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.