Many people think data security is only an issue for the Defense Department, the intelligence community or the Homeland Security Department, said Commerce CIO Simon Szykman while speaking May 14 at the FOSE conference in Washington, D.C. "Even if the confidentiality of the data is not key, the long-term integrity of the data is," he said.
Despite a constrained budgetary environment across government, continued investment in big data is extremely important to the future of the country, said Farnam Jahanian, assistant director for National Science Foundation's computer and information science and engineering directorate. "We view computation and data as two sides of the same coin. You really need to address both," said Jahanian.
In a Feb. 19 speech at the American University School of Law in Washington, D.C., Walter said the SEC's new Market Information Data Analytics System and Consolidated Audit Trail will collect vast quantities of public and non-public data about the market in order to level the playing field. "MIDAS is becoming the world's greatest data sandbox," she said. "And the staff is planning to use it to make the SEC a leader in its use of market data."
The intersection of cloud computing and big data gives government agencies opportunities in areas such as DNA sequencing and national security, said speakers at a National Institute of Standards and Technology workshop. Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said that the federal government in only at the "tip of the iceberg" in its use of cloud and big data.
Working with Twitter, the Library of Congress has created an archive of approximately 170 billion tweets organized by date, says an LOC report released this month. Now, the technological challenge is how to make the archive accessible to researchers and policymakers in a comprehensive and useful way.
The advent of big data has revealed gaps in technology standards and the federal government's ability to take advantage of it, said Donna Roy, executive director of the information sharing environment office within the Homeland Security Department. "The biggest gap at the federal level is in the recruiting and in the business case around staffing up the human support cadre," Roy said while speaking Dec. 13 at a morning AFCEA-Bethesda event.
"The path forward will be to build the integration layers and expand current capability in a way that some of the technology options will 'bolt on' to the existing infrastructure and additional capability will be added discretely and methodically to solve specific requirements as needed," OFR officials say in a Nov. 13 FedBizOps post that concludes a request for information the agency put out in July.
Defense Department program manager Daryl Haegley pointed at the DoD's plans to implement 30,000 smart energy meters to track energy usage habits. The meters are managed by some 300 different systems but meters already installed aren't authorized to operate on the DoD network.
Much can be learned from agencies that are harnessing the value of big data, according to a report (.pdf) published Oct. 3 by the TechAmerica Foundation. The report analyzes agency early adopters to make recommendations for big data use in government. Report authors say agencies should identify two to four key business or mission requirements that big data can help address.
Legislation set for consideration on the floor of the House this week would affix big data and "cyber-physical" systems to priorities of federal networking and information technology research funding.