Nov 23 2020
Data Analytics

AI and Big Data Are Key to Continuing the Mission

Artificial intelligence tools can allow government agencies to analyze large amounts of data to benefit the citizenry.

Big Data has the power to transform how government agencies accomplish their missions by making them more effective and efficient. The government has petabytes of data, and that is only expanding. In government, there is no such thing as small data. This raises an important question: How does the government make the most of this critical asset?

Data alone is powerless, and in order to reap its benefits, it must be shareable. Data becomes more valuable the more it is processed and used, so leveraging the data effectively and efficiently amplifies its value. This where artificial intelligence and Big Data interact.

As a timely example, AI and Big Data hold great potential in stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. One example of how this is playing out in government is the COVID-19 Insights Partnership, which unites the efforts of the Energy Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

These agencies are working to determine how to leverage AI to better understand the effects of the virus and how different drug combinations can effectively defend against it. These projects leverage Summit, the United States’ fastest supercomputer, located at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This technology is helping accelerate COVID-19 research through its ability to analyze large data sets.

How AI Tools Help Analyze Data for Government

AI systems work by identifying the data patterns and require a large amount of data in order to find those patterns. AI helps move research forward, but that can only be done with a large amount of data.

These efforts are helping enhance outcomes for patients and advance potential treatment options. The use of AI and Big Data plays a key role in understanding the virus and helps predict its evolution. These tools can help decision-makers and policymakers identify the best path forward for combating the virus.

When shared, data can benefit government operations and improve citizen service. However, when data is siloed or locked away, it is not valuable. Agencies must have the right infrastructure in place to continue delivering on their missions and glean strategic insights. Agencies must seek solutions that are simple, seamless and sustainable.

EXPLORE: How does the Federal Data Strategy enable cooperation on data projects?

A Modern Data Experience Is Critical

A modern data experience enables agencies to reap the benefits of AI and Big Data to drive critical mission tasks forward despite the pandemic. An infrastructure must be fast enough to reliably support the mass amount of data studied to determine outcomes and continue to push the mission forward.

A modern data experience is simple: simplified management, enhanced security, better performance and reduced costs, which institutions need most. This simplicity means that agency IT leaders can focus on what matters — moving the mission forward — without worrying about costly disruptions or migrations.

It should be seamless and span any protocol, any tier of service level and multiple clouds in a single environment. Lastly, the modern data experience must be sustainable in the midst of rapid change; agencies should be able to buy only what is needed, and the experience should be self-upgrading.

As agencies handle a growing amount of data, it is important to ensure that value can be extracted. By maximizing data, agencies can expand AI and Big Data capabilities — and harness the power of data to advance the mission.

MORE FROM FEDTECH: What is predictive analytics and how can it help agencies?

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