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Big opportunities for Big Data

What’s next for the Federal IT landscape? For starters, by 2020 there will three times as many devices as there are people in the world, growing the volume of data to petabytes, exabytes, and even zettabytes. Knowing what we’re up against, government agencies are reshaping their approaches to better manage this data deluge.

But today’s big data buzz is not new — for more than twenty years, big data has been evolving into the hot topic we see in the Federal IT in 2017. Today, big data is becoming more important than ever before because of the need to analyze the increased amount of unstructured data to meet modern agency demands. Agencies are feeling the pressure to implement big data technologies, but the road ahead is not so simple. It’s riddled with speed bumps and pot holes – lack of budget and appropriate resources, as well as legacy systems.

In this iteration of my blog I shine a spotlight on what agencies stand to gain from big data analytics as well as how they can get to the finish line. Join me as I take a closer look at how agencies can get smart with big data analytics tools.

Why Big Data?

Today, 72 percent of Feds are using big data to improve mission outcomes – and there’s room for more. Back in May, President Trump’s 2018 budget proposed $228 million of IT modernization funding through the General Services Administration (GSA). This was followed swiftly by the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act. These latest developments promise to spur IT modernization, and big changes are in store for Federal agencies. As part of this, big data analytics will help drive innovation from mounds of data. Feds have the ability to gain valuable insights and inform decisions for effective actions, thus better serving us, the American people.

One key use of big data analytics is in understanding cybersecurity trends. President Trump’s recent cyber executive order mandates stricter protection on IT infrastructures. But how does big data analytics fit into the cybersecurity equation? Feds are using big data analytics to detect vulnerabilities, identify breaches that are already happening, and analyze data from multiple sources. Yet even as agencies continue to face a perfect storm of cybersecurity threats, the use of big data analytics tools across government is lacking. Big data is now becoming a mission-critical asset applicable to all government agencies, and must be viewed as such.

What’s the Hold Up?

As the old saying goes, good things take time. And widespread adoption of big data analytics in the government is no exception. As the public sector works day and night to overcome the lack of funding and lack of expertise related to big data, a silver lining appears on the horizon in the form of cloud. Cloud services allow access to big data tools and environments, bridging the gap in this modernization push. As more agencies adopt cloud-based solutions, they’ll have the benefits of big data analytics tools at their disposal. Talk about a win-win.

Looking ahead, big data has limitless potential to advance Federal mission objectives. The future of data analytics does not have to be daunting; instead this technology, working in sync with cloud is another piece of the IT modernization puzzle.

As government agencies evaluate the benefits and opportunities of big data analytics, Tech Data’s team of data architects, business intelligence (BI) architects, and ETL developers are providing the training and big data tools to maximize big data’s impact.

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