Big 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.