Big Interest in Big Data

A search of our event database for "Big Data" pulls up 68 upcoming events -- 36 in-person events, 32 webcasts and 426 past events. So what's the big deal about Big Data?

Big Data is really just a marketing phrase that means a collection of all of the data points that live within an organization's IT system. Email addresses, financial data, survey data, content, social media statistics all stored together are big....big data. It is clear everyone has big data, what organizations need to focus on (and what most of the events on GovEvents address) is how do you use it to make better decisions?

Big Data has always had a role in our intel community and now the same tactics that group of agencies have used are filtering down to the civilian agencies to better utilize all the data they have stored across their systems. Government agencies are looking for ways to pull together disparate sets of data and correlate the information to see if there are any new conclusions that can be used to improve efficiency or citizen service. Different agencies use data in different ways and are focused on different pieces of the Big Data technology and process puzzle.

The events posted on GovEvents are across the spectrum. From technology-specific webinars that demo apps, to case studies of how big data has helped an agency, to people-focused events that speak to how to manage the culture shift of using and analyzing data that had historically just been stored away. All Big Data topics are tied to other Government and IT challenges, for example:

  • For NOAA, they are looking for ways to make their data more accessible to the public and other agencies for further research and crowdsourcing.
  • The FDA can use public and private feeds to better track foodborne contaminants.
  • Municipalities are also working together to share data to find best practices in citizen services.

To do all these things, you will need a "Big Data Tool" that will pull the data together, analyze it and present the information with business impacting solutions. To do this, agencies need to use a variety of apps, technology tools, and good old-fashioned brain power. From a tech perspective, agencies are evaluating database tools, search tools, and even looking for modernization services that can get legacy systems up to speed to be able to interact with these new tools. Events that address these technologies and the process of implementing them will continue to be in high demand as organizations look to get smarter with the data they already have.


Photo credit: IBM

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