Governments around the world understand the importance of a national ICT infrastructure and the role it can play in the economic and social development of a country.
However, there is a significant industry trend called Big Data that, I believe, presents a major opportunity for governments to deliver more targeted services to citizens and businesses.
Three key aspects of Big Data are already impacting governments around the world:
- Volume: Each interaction with a government entity creates digital records, network traffic, and storage requirements. The compound annual growth rates of global consumer and business data are expected to climb by 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2015.
- Velocity: Data is being collected at greater and greater speeds. One example of the new velocity of data is the U.K. government’s transition to real-time tax reporting, where employers submit earnings and taxation information on a monthly rather than annual basis.
- Variety: In addition to traditional documents and forms, governments now must deal with torrents of less-structured data such as video from public safety and security systems, along with social media feedback. The multiple channels through which people now interact with government have also created a challenge.
It is not the data itself that creates innovative opportunities for governments, but the potential for analytics and insight around this vast array of information across many formats. Big Data could enable governments to shorten the daily commute for citizens by developing predictive analytics on traffic flows and actual traffic data affecting traffic signaling in real time. Or perhaps governments could help with rapid identification and control of disease outbreaks—from flu, to infectious diseases, to food contaminants.
One example is an online application from a geospatial mapping company that applied trend analysis to help responders to Australia’s recent floods maximize the relevance of social media reporting. This web app shows how crowdsourced social intelligence provided by Ushahidi enables emergency social data to be integrated into crisis response in a meaningful way. The Australian flooding web app includes the ability to toggle layers from OpenStreetMap, satellite imagery, topography, and filter by time or report type. By adding structured social data, the web app provides valuable situational awareness that goes beyond standard reporting, including the locations of property damage, affected roads, hazards, evacuations, and power outages.
Ultimately, a better understanding of the way in which public services are consumed, mapped to population/demographic data, can enable a much more efficient service delivery ecosystem that reduces waste.
Perhaps the “killer app” for a government cloud is enabling a Big Data revolution. By its very nature, the computational and storage demands of most Big Data applications are volatile and therefore well suited to a cloud infrastructure, enabling multiple government departments to share a single scalable platform for analytics. Furthermore, it is essential to bring data together in a common format and a single view to unleash the maximum potential; a government cloud can fulfill the role of a “data federation” for the public sector. Finally the issue of trust can be managed through the creation of a secure private cloud infrastructure.
While a Big Data vision may seem a challenging stretch for some, the reality is that there already are isolated examples of governments bringing together data from multiple sources to make policy decisions. However, the “siloed” nature of these solutions makes them more expensive to build and challenging to maintain. As a result, governments now have an ideal opportunity to put Big Data at the heart of their discussions on government cloud.
Stay tuned to view upcoming installations of the Cloud for Local Government blog series or click here to register and reserve your copy of the complete compilation of the blog series, including this blog as well as a variety of cloud resources, which will be available in May.
Tags: Big Data, Cisco, cloud, government, IBSG, public services
This week, the third and final chapter of the most recent Cisco Connected World Technology Report was released. This global survey asked 1,800 IT professionals in 18 countries across a broad range of industries to share their views on the potential challenges of Big Data and beyond. In a previous post , I discussed the evolution of Big Data and the importance of extracting value out of Data in Motion to create new applications that matter here and now, in real-time. ( Beyond Big Data : Mastering Data in Motion for Positive Business Impact)
Just as the Internet of Everything is bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable, the same is true of Big Data — the ability to turn information into actions will create key advantages for businesses, individuals, and countries. This latest CCWTR report provides crucial insight into how IT professionals view this sea change.
Two in three of the survey respondents indicated that Big Data will continue to be a strategic priority for their company in 2013 and for the next five years. Globally, IT professionals believe that Big Data will not only help improve decision making in their own companies but that it will also increase the global competitiveness of their countries. Countries such as China, Mexico, and India saw the strongest correlation between Big Data and national competitive advantages (over 80% of respondents agreed).
Data Security and Risks
Some of the most interesting findings are about the challenges that IT professionals associate with Big Data. More than one in four respondents globally said that data security and risk management are a major concern. Protecting Big Data is a big challenge. Data resides everywhere; it is in the cloud, in mobile devices, and in social networks. Data comes from disparate sources in different shapes and forms. Multi-perimeter protection is key but securing data and protecting users’ privacy goes beyond the traditional IT view. Big Data brokers buy data sets from stores where you shop and can sell it to anybody. Sensitive data is protected, but much of your information can be bought and sold without any input or permission from you. While making the data anonymous can protect an individual’s privacy,
re-identification examples show the risks of open data and crowdsourcing.
Better IT Policies
Another particularly interesting finding in the survey is the importance of better policies and improved security to help companies manage the increased traffic related to Big Data but also mobility and video. Only 41% surveyed reported that they were ready for the surge in network traffic. Over 27% say they will need better policies and security measures, and 20% said they will need more bandwidth. These results confirm that bigger pipes alone are not sufficient to handle the data deluge coming from a variety of sources at a high velocity. An intelligent information infrastructure provides a better way to collect, manage, and extract value from data. It is not about transporting the data as quickly as possible from the point of creation to a point of analysis but rather deciding “on the spot” , what to do with the data.
The Key “Takeaway”
Organizations need to expand their view of data beyond traditional storage and analysis in order to develop new systems of engagement that leverage “data in motion,” enabling them to gain real-time insights and create better experiences for their users.
Read more about the report and take a look at the results as they apply to your own country. As usual we welcome your comments!
Data in Motion -- A Definition
Data in Motion represents the continuous interactions between connected elements such as people, process, and things. Data from new devices, sensors, and cameras is at maximum value while still in motion. During these interactions, the intelligent network provides secure unique insights in real-time. Value can be extracted and acted upon as events occur to create advantage here and now or even to predict the future. Organizations can make better decisions, provide enhanced experiences, and achieve competitive advantage. A recent Cisco IBSG white paper details the actual value of these connections in some key industries covering a number of use cases.
Tags: Big Data, CCWTR, data in motion
Reports of the physical retail store’s death have been greatly exaggerated. As a recent survey from the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) found, 93 percent of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. And while technology has upended many product categories and more than a few individual retailers, it simultaneously creates opportunities for retailers to continue to make the store shopping experience both relevant and compelling. Big Data in the store is key to achieving this.
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Tags: Big Data, business intelligence, Cisco, data in motion, IBSG, Internet of Everything, IoE, machine learning, Machine to Machine, machine-to-human, mobility, online shopping, retail, social media, video
Cisco and NetApp have been partners for over a decade, and in January we announced the planned expansion of our partnership. We are always looking to work with our partners in new ways to offer customers greater choice, and Cisco and NetApp are working toward delivering a complete platform for enterprises in data-intensive industries with business-critical SLAs. The solution will offer pre-sized storage, networking, and compute in a highly reliable, ready-to-deploy Hadoop stack, and it is planned to be generally available summer 2013. But, who can wait until summer?! I know we can’t, so we’re going to offer a demo of the joint reference architecture at Cisco Live! Melbourne March 5-8, and we hope you’ll stop by to check it out!
To give you more information on the solution — it will be pre-validated for enterprise Hadoop deployments built using 6296 Fabric Interconnects (connectivity and management), a pair of Nexus 2232s, C220 M3 Servers (compute) and NetApp E5400 and FAS 2240 series storage arrays. Following the -- highly successful -- FlexPod model of pre-sized rack level configurations, this solution will be made available through the well-established FlexPod sales engagement and channel. Field sales and partners from both companies will resell the solution upon general availability.
Tags: Big Data, Hadoop, netapp
Retailers looking at the Big Data opportunity may well find themselves with an array of choices: the opportunities seem so vast, where does one begin?
Well, a pragmatic way forward is to focus on some pragmatic possibilities and then “follow the money”!
In examining the Big Data opportunity for retailers, Cisco IBSG has identified three key areas where we believe value can be generated through Big Data analytics – and we have put together a framework for assessing and comparing the financial impact of options within these areas.
As outlined in our previous report, “Surfing the Data Deluge: How Retailers Can Turn Big Data into Big Profits,” three areas – video, social and mobile data –promise unprecedented insights into what consumers want or need, at the earliest stages of interest, and will drive the Big Data thrust in retail over the next few years. These three essentials not only represent a major stream of incoming data, but also provide an outbound mechanism to communicate with customers on a more personalized basis. In other words, they are both a source of Big Data analytics and a way of implementing Big Data insights!
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Tags: analysis, analytics, Big Data, Cisco, high-definition cameras, IBSG, mobile data, retail, social media, video