Feb 26 2015

Agencies Find New Ways to Manage the Big Data Explosion

Chief data officers are an important new addition to the C-suite and federal IT departments.

Federal leaders are always looking for ways to collect, store, share, protect and make use of data, something that becomes more challenging as the number of devices recording information rapidly increases.

To cope with the avalanche of information, agencies are tapping chief data officers to coordinate all of the moving parts of their data management efforts. “Rise of Chief Data Officers Promise More Open Data Access to Government Data” explains how CDOs are modernizing data management systems to keep pace with the times.

Just a few years ago, few organizations had a CDO; today, they are essential to agencies’ IT strategies. As the article shows, it’s imperative that agencies understand the big picture behind the data. Having a CDO in place can prove an important element of effective data management.

Take the Transportation Department as a case in point: In only a few years, we can expect to see more autonomous cars on the road, using wireless networking technology to communicate. Every turn, stop and acceleration might be recorded, creating a mountain of data for the department to manage.

“We see the data that’s coming in and know that it’s only going to increase,” says Maria Roat, Transportation’s chief technology officer. “We’re putting in processes now to deal with this onslaught of information, so it can be valuable in ways we’ve yet to imagine.”

Data Close at Hand

Managing data is only part of the puzzle. Agencies also must find a way to store it, and many are turning to end-to-end virtualization. “Agencies Continue Data Center Consolidation Efforts” explains how the State Department eliminated 12 data centers using an Infrastructure as a Service private cloud to virtualize more than 60 percent of its servers.

Readers will also discover in “The Internet of Things Takes Shape” how the Internet of Things is creating mountains of data for agencies to collect, store and manage. Those that make best use of it are gleaning insights that improve efficiencies and help them achieve their missions.

Elsewhere in this issue, “Feds, FirstNet Build Public Safety LTE Network” explores the myriad moving parts now coming together to build FirstNet; in particular, how existing technologies are leveraged as opposed to building a new LTE network from the ground up.