This blog is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent industry perspective, The Modern Enterprise Data Fabric: Helping the Public Sector Transform Digitally. Download the full perspective here.
Governments at all levels have been adopting digital technologies in large numbers over the past few decades to fulfill their missions – be it protection of the country, welfare of the citizen or even to ensure efficacies across their agencies
But nothing could have prepared them for the new digital transformation that is underway. While promising to deliver unprecedented benefits, including meeting rising citizen expectations, real-time situational awareness and agency efficiencies, this transformation led by innovative technologies is fundamentally changing how an agency functions.
An outcome of this transformation is the amount of data that is being created, which is extraordinary by any measure. To put it in some perspective, numbers released by IBM found that an equivalent of 90 percent of all the data in the entire world, and in fact in all of human history, has been generated in the past two years. As an example, a connected airplane will generate 40 terabytes of data during a single flight, while an automated factory could produce up to a petabyte every day. And this is happening across all sectors, with a Gartner report revealing 50 percent of CEOs expressing confidence that their industries will be digitally transformed by 2020.
Organizations that can manage this digital transformation and the massive amount of data it generates will thrive. Those that can’t will have a difficult time surviving these changes, risking failed missions and tarnished reputations.
Digital Transformation in the Public Sector
In the public sector, profits are not the driving factor; citizen welfare and protection are. And digital transformation is critical to these efforts. Budgets are tight and agencies are constantly driven to do more with less. Finding ways to efficiently interact with the public as well as ways to optimize complex processes or improve workflows can go a long way to better serve citizens, improve public safety, handle emergencies and tackle a whole lot of other issues.
Data can help in this arena. And in many ways, the public sector is generating even more data than before. Data in government can be generated by almost anything, like a police officer’s body camera, an agency’s social media account, website servers, firewalls, traditional desktop computers, VoIP phone systems and the millions of mobile devices on the job as part of a BYOD or official mobility program.
And that does not even consider the Internet of Things (IoT), which are being used for everything from checking the health of street lights to monitoring how many times the courthouse door is opened every day. Those tiny little sensors only record one or two data points, but can clog almost any collection or analysis system by their sheer numbers, which only continue to grow.
While the data growth is immense as are its velocity and variability, harnessing and analyzing this data can improve efficiencies, enhance security and safety, deliver faster services, increase citizen satisfaction and fortify agency reputation.
Weaving the Enterprise Data Machine Fabric
Splunk helps agencies overcome the inherent challenges of machine data by delivering a platform that can collect, correlate, analyze, share and provide access to data across the enterprise.
Edward Tufte, a renowned statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics and computer science at Yale University, once remarked that the clutter and confusion associated with information are not attributes of the data – they’re design shortcomings. The millions of computers, servers, programs, devices and apps being used in every modern network, as well as the billions of IoT devices that also now contribute to that clutter, were not designed to operate within a single system, or even to speak the same language.
Splunk helps agencies overcome the inherent challenges of machine data by delivering a platform that can collect, correlate, analyze, share and provide access to data across the enterprise. This weaves an Enterprise Machine Data Fabric (EMDF) wherein the same data that’s collected can be used to solve a variety of mission-critical use cases across the agency in real-time.
With an EMDF, data is correlated as you stitch it together based on the questions you ask, the story you want to create or insights you want to mine. Because the data remains in its native format and does not have to be modified to fit into a pre-defined database, operators, analysts, managers and executives can ask any questions they want, essentially letting different people ask different questions of the same data to pursue their initiatives and mission. It can thus be weaved into every business function to help agencies solve any type of problem, and provides strong ROI – if you can use the same data and use the same platform to solve multiple problems, then the value is increased.
To learn how to take your digital transformation to the next level, download GovLoop’s recent industry perspective, The Modern Enterprise Data Fabric: Helping the Public Sector Transform Digitally.