Business is not the only sector that can benefit from big data analysis. The use of big data can improve government efficiency and service – in such fields as health and public safety.
A new survey by the TechAmerica Foundation and commissioned by SAP (News - Alert) AG said that 87 percent of federal IT officials and 75 percent of state IT officials believe big data can “have real and immediate impacts on how governments operate.”
It was found that 83 percent of federal IT officials say big data solutions can help the government cut the federal budget by at least 10 percent, or $380 billion. One key way is by finding improper healthcare payments before they take place.
Some 87 percent of federal IT officials and 75 percent of state IT officials said big data solutions also will save lives because of improved treatment and better detection of outbreaks.
Also, police are using big data to predict when and where crimes are likely to occur. Police can act head of time to lower crimes with that information. Also, with big data the government can improve and personalize services to citizens.
There are several barriers to big data use in the public sector. One area is privacy concerns, which was cited by 47 percent of federal IT officials. Also, 39 percent of federal and state IT officials cite the cost of new tools and the level of investment needed for big data analysis. Return on investment and the length of time to finish database queries are other barriers identified in the survey.
“The findings from this study underscore the infinite potential of Big Data and reaffirm the findings of our Big Data Commission,” Jennifer Kerber, president of the TechAmerica Foundation, said in a statement. “Governments can save money and improve their service to citizens – is clear from this study but it’s also clear that we must find ways to overcome adoption barriers – quickly.”
“The ongoing budget debates in Washington and many state capitals are a useful moment to appreciate what big data tools can do for government,” added Jennifer Morgan, president of SAP Public Services.
“By combining disparate sources of data and analyzing them in real time, government leaders and citizens can turn ‘Big Data’ into ‘smart data’ and gain a much clearer picture of how to save taxpayer dollars and even save lives. Practical concerns such as costs, consumer privacy, and return on investment must be addressed carefully so that we can gain the enormous benefits of using Big Data tools.”
Close to 200 government IT specialists took part in the survey conducted by Penn Schoen and Berland.
Responding to the survey results, Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition, told The Daily Caller that database queries “would get a lot simpler and cheaper if the federal government did a bit of basic data management.”
. “It’s nobody’s job to set up and enforce government-wide identifiers and markup languages for the most basic concepts (agencies, awards, programs, regulated entities) and filings (especially filings by grantees and contractors and regulatory filings),” Hollister told The Daily Caller.
He also wants to see The DATA (Digital Accountability and Transparency Act) Act approved by Congress. It will increase transparency for federal government spending data.