Reality Check

Michael Daconta is the vice president of advanced technology at InCadence Strategic Solutions and the former metadata program manager for the Homeland Security Department. His latest book is "Information as Product: How to Deliver the Right Information to the Right Person at the Right Time."


The cloud has a silver lining after all

Once you understand what it is and is not, the move to cloud computing represents an opportunity for a disciplined approach to tackling information overload.

Mike Daconta

Pros and cons of rogue databases

Local Access databases can serve an important prototyping and requirements role, but it is up to the CIO to provide an enterprise service to "webify" them.

Mike Daconta

3 tragic flaws of some well-meaning dashboards

When beginning a dashboard project, there are three common pitfalls to avoid: using the wrong type of dashboard, using weak metaphors and using made-up data.

Mike Daconta

Beware an impending e-records train wreck

Outdated technologies and inadequate transparency are hampering HHS's electronic health records effort, but the experience could provide lessons other agencies can use to avoid similar pitfalls, says columnist Michael Daconta.

Mike Daconta

With info sharing, context is as important as content

Context is so critical that its implications are cropping up in more than a half-dozen areas of data architecture, such as process monitoring, business glossaries, master data management, metadata catalogs, information exchanges, data warehousing and much more, Reality Check columnist Michael Daconta writes.

Mike Daconta

It's time to burst the cloud's hype bubble

Agencies are rushing into an unfinished technology that lacks standards and governance and is not suited to all of its proposed uses, Reality Check columnist Michael Daconta says.

Mike Daconta

BP spill's lessons about data and transparency

The Gulf oil spill holds lessons about how perspective affects data and how we can apply those lessons to Data.gov, the online repository of federal government data.

Mike Daconta

The good, the bad and the ugly of agile programming

Agile software development has strong defenders, but Reality Check columnist Michael Daconta still contends that government information technology managers should be wary.

Mike Daconta

The 7 habits of high-quality software

Practicing these seven habits of high-quality software will keep IT as a strategic mission multiplier for federal, state, local and tribal governments.

Mike Daconta

10 flaws with the data on Data.gov

Even a cursory examination of Data.gov's newly released high-value datasets revealed 10 types of quality deficiencies, says columnist Mike Daconta.

Mike Daconta

3 reforms needed to avoid the coming software development disaster

Competition among dominant players and the arrival of new disruptive technologies, such as 64-bit computing and IPv6, will break the back of the development community until a new direction emerges, says columnist Mike Daconta.

Mike Daconta

Crowdsourcing: The wisdom of crowds, or the madness?

Crowdsourcing is a necessary but insufficient condition of Web 2.0. What we see here are the limits of a bottom-up process and the need for top-down guidance, says Michael Daconta.

Mike Daconta

Why Web 2.0 is still not pixie dust

Web 2.0 is great technology that has a role in all public-facing government Web sites and in the next wave of application development, but don't confuse its use with the less glamorous side of transparency.

Mike Daconta

How Data.gov connects the dots of the federal data reference model

The Data.gov concept of operations document sets out an evolutionary path for accessing federal datasets, involving both outward improvements for consumers of the site and inward improvements to agency processes.

Why cloud computing is still a red herring

In general, the success stories in cloud computing are all proprietary, with proprietary application programming interfaces. So, whose cloud do you want to be part of? Rushing to replace stovepipe systems with stovepipe clouds is not revolutionary progress.