How to Get Past the ‘Big Data’ Hype

Genialbaron/Shutterstock.com

Agencies can avoid succumbing to the hype surrounding “big data” by tying analysis of performance information to mission-critical goals and giving rank-and-file employees access to numbers, according to a new report from a nonprofit and a consultancy.

“Today’s analytics projects often are driven top-down by program managers or agency leaders seeking to comply with administration mandates, husband their resources and take advantage of new technology,” the Partnership for Public Service and IBM Center for the Business of Government stated. “The lesson from grass-roots- driven older projects is that managers should not overlook the payoff that comes from enabling employees to see and use data organized for their needs.”

The report -- part of a series -- profiled the Veterans Health Administration’s analytics work on assessing care needs, such as the likelihood of hospitalization; the Defense Department's efforts in biometrics for identity protection; the Agriculture Department Animal Plant Health Inspection Service’s work with the Homeland Security Department on shipping containers and the risk of pest infestation; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts at detecting food-borne illnesses; and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s bid to predict coming needs for emergency aid in weather disasters or famines.

Agencies should draw five lessons from the study, the authors wrote:

  • Collaborate with other agencies to collect data and share analytics expertise;
  • Develop data to determine return on investment for analytics programs;
  • Give agency leaders clear, concise analysis and proof of adoption, and results they can use to support data-driven programs;
  • Encourage data use and spark insights by enabling employees to easily see, combine and analyze it; and
  • Make sure leaders and managers demand and use data and provide employees with targeted on-the-job training.

(Image via Genialbaron/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.