What separates big data ‘thrivers’ from ‘survivors’?

What separates big data ‘thrivers’ from ‘survivors’?

For all the discussion of big data and analytics, the majority of federal agencies are just starting to leverage such technologies at the enterprise level.

An imbalance in investments in across five maturity dimensions -- technology, data, people, processes and vision --  has prevented 68.3 percent of federal agencies from establishing or leveraging enterprisewide big data expertise, according to a recent IDC Government Insights survey of 210 federal government respondents.

The report, “IDC MaturityScape Benchmark: Big Data and Analytics in Government in the United States,” rated an agency’s data maturity, from an ad hoc use of big data and analytics to the optimized stage, where big data and analytics strategies and processes are operationalized at an enterprise-wide level.

Agencies with more established big data programs tend to have higher levels of maturity across all five maturity dimensions. Those that focus on just one or two of the dimensions -- for example, technology or people -- may not have the ability to support or automate big data programs across the enterprise.

Balancing investments across all five big data maturity dimensions, rather than focusing on one or two, can help agencies to avoid roadblocks.

Agency culture also plays a role in data maturity.

There were notable differences between agencies whose big data projects have exceeded expectations and those whose programs did not meet expectations, the report noted. The difference between the “thrivers and survivors,” according to IDC’s Research Director Adelaide O’Brien was that thrivers are more likely to have executive leadership that emphasizes a data-driven culture and addresses data quality across the enterprise.

“Agencies need executive leadership, a data-driven culture and appropriate resources, skills and access to relevant data to successfully deploy big data and analytics to improve mission outcomes.” O’Brien said.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.


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