Big Data has Big Promise in the Public Sector

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 3.44.18 PMBig data’s generating a lot of buzz these days — or is it hype? One thing’s for certain — big data is everywhere, and governments are no exception. Most governments collect and have access to as much, if not more data, than the private sector. The National Institutes of Health, for example, can access five million pictures of tumors. How many private healthcare institutions can make that claim?

Big data isn’t a magic bullet — those are in short supply — but it presents very real opportunities to transform public service by driving dramatic improvements to both citizen-facing services and internal workflow. Federal, state and local governments alike are sitting on a treasure trove of information, but often don’t know what to do with it or how to use it.

The Public Sector, Master Data Management and the Elusive Golden Record

informatica2_FotorThe digitization of government is having a dramatic impact on how agencies approach data, resulting in mountains of constituent data, which is in turn fed back into government systems. If government agencies are to provide consistent and efficient citizen services, this continuous feedback loop requires data quality, accuracy and consistency. Yet many government agencies operate without the benefit of a golden record — a single version of the truth that provides a holistic view of each citizen with which it works, whether the citizen plays the role of beneficiary, student, patient, taxpayer or even criminal, according to the mission of the agency.

The Technology Behind Successful Big Data Initiatives

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 3.44.56 PMGovernment leaders have a vision for transforming public service, and big data is a strategic part of it. However, turning that vision into reality to deliver tangible value for the government enterprise is easier said than done. It shouldn’t be that difficult: after all, big data is an existing asset; it simply needs to be leveraged to yield insights.