By Stephanie Meloni
Market Intelligence consultant
immixGroup, an Arrow company
Big data technologies are expected to grow in the federal government at a 10 percent CAGR for the next several years. That market should be worth about $9 billion in 2018.
Here is where big data is picking up steam in the public sector:
State and Local Government–Smart Cities
Cities are increasingly using their data to increase public safety and improve citizen services. If you sell technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT) to government, right now, state and local government and education (SLED) organizations are the number one customer you should be paying attention to.
As part of the “Smart Cities” initiative, jurisdictions are examining how to collect and manage sensor data to help them predict crime, traffic bottlenecks and even know where to direct resources to fix potholes before they happen. Using data integration from IoT devices like parking meters can help a city understand associated maintenance costs to optimize the fees they collect. Government will be slow to adapt IoT solutions, so SLED right now is where this level of sensor data analysis is taking place.
Department of Defense (DOD) and Artificial Intelligence
The DOD, eager to continue to develop adversary overmatch capabilities, has begun investing more heavily in autonomous systems that rely on cloud, big data and artificial intelligence. Autonomous systems will likely play a large part in development of the Third Offset Strategy that leaders will use to ensure military superiority.
The DOD spent about $2.5 billion on artificial intelligence in 2017 and that is expected to increase for the foreseeable future. Specific investments DOD agencies are making when it comes to AI are natural language processing, machine and deep learning and supercomputing. Agencies with an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission have been some of the larger spenders, and technology companies can expect agencies to diversify use cases for machine learning and AI as capabilities continue to mature.
Health and Human Services (HHS)
A more specific initiative within the government is HHS’ attempt to use big data analysis to understand and prevent the ongoing opioid crisis.
The recently passed FY19 budget allocated $10 million to address the crisis, and this will involve analyzing medical billing data in order to determine high-risk cases and looking for patterns in the data that may indicate drug abuse.
States will need to share their data in order to enable prescription drug monitoring programs. Some states are already benefiting from this kind of analysis and have been able to report drops in overdoses. HHS even recently hosted a code-a-thon so industry could demonstrate solutions that HHS doesn’t yet employ.
Some of the solutions that HHS is looking at to improve public health include data visualization, predictive analytics, and data search and pattern analysis.
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Editors Note: This post originally appeared July 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.