News Feature | October 4, 2013

Government IT News For VARs — October 4, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


This week’s news includes the launch of “Twitter Alerts,” the value of APIs, and the opportunities Big Data applications can create in the government vertical.

“Twitter Alerts” To Provide Information During Emergencies

Last week, Twitter launched “Twitter Alerts.” The announcement says the feature will enable subscribers to access “information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters, or moments when other communications services aren’t accessible.” An example alert is available from FEMA. Twitter plans to expand the list of organizations currently participating to include more public institutions and non-governmental organizations worldwide.   

APIs Enable Innovation Based On Government Data

Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. CTO, stresses that application programming interfaces (APIs) will play an important role in making government data accessible. According to an article for Government Technology, Chopra, now with Apigee, an API management and strategy company, says APIs will lead to opportunities for software development using the data. Chopra says this will not only advance the mission of the agency releasing the data, but also create new jobs and boost the economy.

An article on says the impact of data made more accessible through APIs could play a part in innovation, “inviting parallels to the government’s role in the early days of the Internet and supercomputing.”

GSA’s IT Solutions Navigator Sheds Light On IT Procurement Process

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) offers its new IT Solutions Navigator, which helps government organizations select the most suitable contract vehicles based on the type of project. In addition, government contracting teams can use the tool to conduct market research on IT products and services. The tool also includes video tutorials and a live chat.

Big Data Could Mean Big Opportunity In Government Vertical

An article says Big Data will provide “enormous opportunities” for government agencies — and for the companies that develop apps for them. Areas already transforming because of the impact of Big Data are security and fraud prevention, service delivery and emergency response, and data accessiblity.

Government IT Talking Points

You can share this success story from Cary, NC, with your local government clients.  A Fort Mills Times article highlights how Cary used analytics to locate available funds — freeing up $10 million — as well as showing emerging crime issues in specific communities and improving fuel-consumption forecasts. Cary employees spend less time on paperwork, and residents have access to utility information via a data portal.

A Data Informed article reports the panel at the Predictive Analytics World Government conference shared that different government agencies measure the value of analytics in different ways. Agencies gauge success by metrics such as “time to value,” fraud detection, and ROI. The article says Bryan Jones, the director of the countermeasures and performance evaluation unit of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, looks at different measures of success with different stakeholders. He says, “It’s a mistake to look at one metric for success.”