July 11, 2017

This is where big data is growing

By Stephanie Meloni
Market Intelligence consultant
immixGroup, an Arrow company

The federal government is expected to spend $4.6 billion on big data and analytics solutions and services in FY18. Civilian agencies’ spend for FY18 is expected to come in around $2.1 billion; while the Department of Defense (DOD) will spend the remaining $2.5 billion.

The government is paying increased attention to its data, and the amount it collects and analyzes will only increase with more devices, sensors, and upgrades of legacy enterprise systems. Internet of Things (IoT) will be a key driver for agencies that want to revolutionize their data and analytics practices, and IDC estimates that federal spending on IoT has a CAGR of about 17 percent through 2018.

The government will also be looking toward data management and analytics solutions to improve operations, finance, human resources, and healthcare challenges. Data analytics is vital to all government agencies, as analytics can help respond to cyber challenges and save money—two hot buttons for all government customers. The expected CAGR for big data and analytics related hardware, software and services will be about 11 percent through 2020.

The agencies driving big data growth are Army, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Treasury, Navy, Air Force and Veterans Affairs. So where are government agencies looking to utilize innovative big data and analytics solutions? Here are just a few examples of what’s happening across federal agencies:

1. Department of Transportation Smart Cities Initiative

This presents a huge opportunity for IoT vendors—the Department of Transportation pledged up to $40 million for one city to define what being a “Smart City” will look like. It involves integration of technologies like smart cars and traffic lights. Columbus, Ohio was recently announced as the winner of this challenge, and it will require data connectivity, integration, and analysis to implement its improved transportation system plans. Other challenges are expected to follow this first one, with the second challenge being issued in March of this year. Vendors can expect these projects to serve as pilots for IoT solutions and transportation, so opportunities will extend to SLED customers as well.

2. DISA Big Data Platform

With cybersecurity and analytics being a huge focus for DOD, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Big Data Platform combines cyber data used across the DOD Information Network (DODIN). DISA is looking to upgrade the Big Data Platform’s underlying architecture in order to enable cyber situational awareness, and will be looking for enhanced data integration, visualization and analytics to respond to cyber threats.

3. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Drones

The USDA is the newest civilian agency to enter the drone market, with plans to use them for crop-scouting purposes. Expect to see an increase in database and analytics-enabling IT to help USDA with data collection as the department ramps up its number of drones to about 200,000 by the end of this calendar year.


Since data management and analytics solutions can help any agency or program that manages or even touches its own data, each program represents an opportunity for vendors. The main thing industry needs to be aware of is the need to understand agencies’ specific priorities within the agency you are targeting, and understand the agencies’ cloud and cybersecurity strategies since that will tie closely to how government customers will want to store data and apply analytics.

Stephanie Meloni is a Market Intelligence Consultant with immixGroup (an Arrow company), which helps technology companies do business with the government. Stephanie focuses on DoD agencies and Big Data and analytics. Need help identifying top IT decision makers and opportunities in government? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today.

Editors Note: This post originally appeared July 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.