3 Real Examples of Big Data Analytics in Government
Big data is empowering organizations all over the world to make more efficient use of their data. Due to how its trending across fields like retail and marketing, it’s often viewed as an enterprise thing. In reality, however, it’s a concept that can benefit any organization in need of a better way to manage the massive amounts of information at their disposal. That includes nonprofits and the various departments of government. Equipped with the power of advanced analytics, virtually all levels of government can unlock new capabilities and opportunities.
Law Enforcement and National Security
Analyzing data is already critical in helping federal and local governments respectively strengthen national security and reduce crime. Everyday, agencies are using the same analytics and intelligence technologies businesses use to transform raw data into gold. However, one of the most highly publicized use of big data by law enforcement dates back to the horrific Boston Bombings of 2013. Federal and local law enforcement combed through scores of video and photos captured around the scene of the crime. In this case, the use of big data turned out to be the key to identifying the suspects and bringing at least one of them to justice.
Scientists and Super Analytics
Collectively, the government probably has the world’s most impressive IT department. Processing massive chunks of data is a task commonly performed by some of its most powerful agencies. The Department of Energy recently made a $25 million investment in the Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization SDAV Institute. This project is bringing a group of laboratories and universities together to create a new breed of data management and visualization tools. These tools are helping scientists work with large data sets and make better decisions in the supercomputer environment.
The government is like any other sector when it comes to employee trust issues. Fraud and abuse are just some of many internal problems individual departments deal with – not to mention, sensitive information leaks. Big data analytics can better anticipate trouble situations and help keep these problems to a minimum. For example, by monitoring employee actions through data, it’s possible to identify instances of fraud and theft before too much damage is inflicted. Keeping such issues under wraps cuts down on expenses and improves efficiency.
Big Challenges Ahead
Across a myriad of departments, the government is up to its neck in documents, emails, instant messages, and other information – historical and new entries alike. Taming this information is no small matter. With tasks such as archiving, access, retention, and general management to tend to, even their technical prowess is challenged at maintaining this kind of infrastructure. Some entities are already adopting the new technology needed to store, analyze, and make maximize use of the scores of data they have their hooks into. Others are slow on the adoption front or need help with implementation. For government, the challenges are unique and not always as trivial as signing up with a vendor.
The potential of big data is limitless. Its applications have no bound. Even with the great challenges it faces, the government could end up giving us some of the most intriguing use cases to come along yet.