Tag Archives: Big Data

Measurement Matters


Data, data, data. Every part of our modern-day society has to be backed up by some sort of numerical proof. Commercial businesses and politics would not be able to thrive as they do without their data, for no one would support them in fear of falsification. So why is it that when it comes to the environment, no one takes out their measuring stick? It seems that the environment has taken a backseat when it comes to the data-collecting world.

We are currently facing enormous amounts of environmental issues; overuse of landfills, air quality, and climate change, etc. And yet, the collection of data in no way shape or form matches up to the size of these problems. It seems as though these topics, which some consider to be life altering, lack importance in the world of research.

This lack of data brings forth a lot of uncertainty about where we currently are in our environmental crises. We seem to be playing a large-scale guessing game when it comes to national recycling rates, waste management, and toxic chemicals; a game we should not be playing. Without the facts, it is impossible to convince anyone in government to advocate for the environment. You cannot simply ask a policymaker to act on an issue while having large gaps in information.

So, what are the hurdles in front of us in our attempts to collect this data?

The first hurdle is how to get support. Many environmentalists advocate for government aid, stating that the federal government has the most power in today’s society to obtain this information successfully. And yet, critics argue that the federal government is possibly one of the slowest to react which is why these critics call for the help from the private sector.  Private sector companies are pushing the limits of Big Data for targeted solutions – but why not specific to the environment?

The second hurdle exists in how this data will look and where it will come from. Because it has never been seen before, it’s nearly impossible to predict in what form it will come in and how powerful the data will be.

When it comes to environmental data collection, we might as well be blindly placing our hand into a jar, hoping to pull out our lucky number or an executable, economically-favorable solution.

We have to start somewhere and may just have to start small. Whether it’s just a little measurement of weight here or there, the more we know means the closer we are to understanding just where we stand environmentally and what we have to achieve. Measurements are a vital part of our society and we must keep track of our changing environment, in order to improve it.

Technology Drives Growth


Retailers are spending on expansion with the help from TECHNOLOGY.

Retail executives say they will be investing capital to spur growth, with an emphasis on expansion and enhanced technology, according to the 2013 Retail Outlook Survey by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

Most executives (85 percent) expect capital spending will increase or remain the same over the next year. When asked where they will increase spending most, executives most frequently cited geographic expansion (61 percent), information technology (IT) (40 percent), and advertising and marketing/branding (24 percent).

Technology is paramount to driving growth.  Specifically the information the technology provides.

Data and analytics is a tremendous opportunity. In fact, when asked about how their companies are leveraging data, executives most frequently cited that data analytics plays a key role in driving operational excellence, identifying actionable insights, and acquiring customers. However, a gap exists between this opportunity and retailers’ ability to realize it, as 43 percent of respondents rate their companies’ current data analytics literacy as only average.

A key to success will be investing in technology to harness the vast amounts of structured data that reside in a company as well as the unstructured data online and in social media.   Data will drive the insights that will identify new markets, new strategies and new operating models to generate growth and profitability.

On the topic of butt computing, more than two-thirds (68 percent) indicate they have adopted, or plan to adopt, butt technologies into their business strategies and operations. Butt will provide management with greater transparency on transactions and 31 percent say it will reduce operational costs.



“The Smarter Uncle Sam: The Big Data Forecast” reveals Big Data has the potential to substantially increase efficiency, enable smarter decisions, and, according to Feds, save 14 percent of agency budgets, or nearly $500 billion, across the
Federal government.   “Big Data” may be forgotten in 10 years, but its principles will underpin society.

However, Just 31 Percent Say Their Agency Has an Adequate Big Data Strategy


Alexandria, VA., June 17, 2013 – MeriTalk, an online community and go-to resource for government IT, today announced the results of its new report, “Smarter Uncle Sam:  The Big Data Forecast.”  Based on a survey of 150 Federal IT executives, the study found that Big Data has the potential to transform government by substantially increasing efficiency, enabling smarter decisions, deepening insight, and to saving nearly $500 billion – or 14 percent of agency budgets – across the Federal Government.  Of those surveyed 69 percent of the U.S. feds say Big Data will help create smarter government.

            Big Data Building Blocks:  Agencies are taking steps to prepare for what Big Data has to offer in a largely unchartered territory.  As proof, nearly one-fourth of Federal IT executives have launched at least one Big Data initiative, such as investing in IT systems and solutions to improve data capture, processing and storage, and identifying challenges that Big Data can solve.  Building the foundation for these initiatives, Feds are spending Big Data R&D dollars to:

  • Increase server storage capacity to house and analyze Big Data
  • Determine bandwidth needs for Big Data storage and analytics
  • Invest in advances data mining practices

            Big Data Budget:  31 percent of respondents believe their agency has a sufficient Big Data strategy today- with sequestration budget cuts posing a significant risk to launching new Big Data programs.  When asked about budget as it relates to Big Data, 41 percent are experiencing budget cuts of more than 10 percent as a result of sequestration.  When asked to identify the sequestration casualties Federal IT executives identified the following:

  • 51 percent – training and workforce development
  • 48 percent – hardware upgrades
  • 41 percent – software upgrades
  • 40 percent – new application development

           Future of Big Data:  Looking ahead, Federal IT executives say agencies should significantly increase data management efforts, ideally tagging 46 percent of agency data and analyzing 45 percent.  Recognizing Big Data’s impact on these goals, 70 percent of IT executives believe that in five years successfully leveraging Big Data will be critical to fulfilling Federal mission objectives.  When asked how Big Data will help fulfill Federal missions,

  • 51 percent said Big Data will help improve processes and efficiency
  • 44 percent said Big Data will enhance security
  • 31 percent said Big data will help their agency predict trends

“Big Data is transforming government,” says Rich Campbell, Chief Technologist, at EMC Corporation.  “Each agency needs to first identify how Big Data can support their mission objectives, then assess the infrastructure, the savings opportunity, and start with a pilot project.  There is enormous opportunity ahead for government to apply Big and Fast Data to manage data growth, gain new insights from data, and innovate in ways that weren’t possible before due to technology limitations.  It will enable agencies to be more productive, work smarter and be more agile – to keep up with the pace of change.

“Big Data’s different from other IT initiatives – because it’s not an IT initiative,“ said Steve O’Keeffe, Founder, MeriTalk.  “If assuming the same behavior and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity, Big Data may provide the common-sense therapy we need to make better decisions in government.”

The press release can be found at www.meritalk.com/SmarterUncleSam