News Feature | February 14, 2017

Helping Federal Agencies "Ace The Big Data Test"

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

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Federal agencies must address data collaboration woes to ace the Big Data test.

Only 35 percent of Federal Agencies say they are currently very successful sharing data across platforms and almost one-fifth say they are not supporting data collaboration across teams at all. This is according to the findings of MeriTalk’s report Acing the Big Data Test: How Feds Can Support New Missions with New Insights, which explores agency ability to leverage Big Data and foster data sharing and collaboration across teams.

In its survey of 100 Federal IT managers, MeriTalk found 72 percent are leveraging Big Data to improve mission outcomes, including 45 percent to improve operational efficiency, 44 percent to execute cybersecurity analytics, and 41 percent to establish performance track/goal-setting.

Carrie Feord, government marketing director at Teradata, says Federal hesitation to share data often stems from fear. “The hesitancy to share is surprising, but people hold on to data so tight,” Feord says. “The fear is ‘what if the public sees something we’re not?’ That’s why analytics matter. Everyone has the data. It can sit there and do nothing. If you’re not using it, then there’s the fear factor. Once you use it, that’s where fear goes away.”

MeriTalk suggests in order to “ace the Big Data test” and more effectively leverage the top predictions for impactful use of Big Data in 2017, agencies must address the three gaps in data analytics and collaboration. The top predictions include cybersecurity analytics, predictive analytics for forecasting and pattern recognition, and use cases around operational efficiency.

The study found Feds could be doing a better job of improving mission outcomes with Big Data, including enhancing data governance (51 percent), enhancing analytics for their current team (39 percent), and improving leadership support (36 percent).