Big data expected to benefit governments, citizens
The need for effective big data analytics is growing throughout a number of industries, especially among federal and state organizations.A recent survey by TechAmerica Foundation found that more than 80 percent believe that the use of real-time big data is "the way of the future."
Although a vast majority of respondents believe that big data will be crucial moving forward, do federal employees have a firm understanding of big data? When asked to define what big data means to them, a federal CIO explained that the trend involves massive information sets that cannot be managed or processed using traditional solutions. Another participant issued a similar description.
"Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools," the state CTO said.
Respondents believe that such tools can save the government at least 10 percent or more on their annual budgets.
The number of advantages of real-time big data go much deeper, according to the report. People believe that the technology can improve the quality of life for the country's citizens, improve social and public welfare and ultimately save lives.
Although the number of benefits associated with big data appear vast, there are some challenges associated with the trend. TechAmerica found that nearly 50 percent of federal IT officials believe that data privacy is a barrier, 42 percent cited a return on investment as a concern and 38 percent reported a lack of ownership over this information. Fewer state officials answered similarly on each of these questions.
Big data market is going global
The big data phenomenon is expected to influence a number of industries throughout the world, whether it be government, healthcare or other fields. A report by IDC predicted that the global market for big data technology and services will expand at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 32 percent between 2012 and 2016, approaching $24 billion, which is roughly seven times the growth of the information and communication technology sector.
What makes big data so important? Dan Vesset, IDC's vice president, said the technology and services market is growing quickly, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry.
"It is an important topic on many executive agendas and presents some of the most attractive job opportunities for people with the right technology, analytics, communication, and industry domain expertise," Vesset said.
Much like the TechAmerica survey found, IDC indicated that the evolution of big data will result in some roadblocks along the way. The research firm explained that the number of big data experts will be few and far between in the near future, prompting organizations to implement automation tools and cloud computing to get by in the meantime.
The relationship between cloud computing and big data analytics is even more significant, according to a survey conducted by CloudPassage. Of the IT professionals questioned, more than 40 percent are working with public clouds to host external applications. In 2013, 70 percent said their organizations will use public clouds to host big data workloads.
Of the more than 200 IT professionals polled, 41 percent of respondents use public environments to host external applications. In 2013, 70 percent of respondents expect their firms to use public clouds to support big data workloads.
"Big data might very well be the catalyst that will push adoption of public cloud into overdrive," noted Roman Stanek, CEO of GoodData Corporation. "Real-time scalability will be key and a secure cloud will be the enabler."