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Federal agencies today face a daunting expectation—that they use the vast amounts of data they amass to make quantum leaps in every area of mission and operations.
But the reality is that most of the people in an organization who might gain critical insights from the data don’t have direct access to it. Unless they’re in IT, or have degrees in statistics or applied math, they have a limited ability to discover important patterns and trends in the data, or use it to improve efficiency, cost savings and decision-making.
The pressure to find such insights is growing. Congress, the Administration, the public, and a broad range of other groups now believe that to be effective in the 21st century, agencies must be able to capture the full potential of big data and advanced analytics. This is seen as necessary not just to benefit the individual agencies, but also to meet the needs of their many downstream stakeholders.
“Congress, the Administration, the public, and a broad range of other groups now believe that to be effective in the 21st century, agencies must be able to capture the full potential of big data and advanced analytics.”
These ambitious goals can only be achieved if the data and analytics are “democratized”—if they be can accessed by everyone in the organization who might need it, including people who don’t necessarily have data science expertise.
How can this be accomplished? Most technological approaches shut out the non-experts. Researchers, analysts and others typically must go through intermediaries to ask questions of the data, and often must adhere to pre-determined lines of inquiry.
The Data Science Bowl, presented by Booz Allen and Kaggle, is the world's premier data science for social good competition. No single person or organization can meaningfully tackle problems of immense magnitude, and no one should have to fight alone. To learn more about Booz Allen's Data Science Bowl visit www.datasciencebowl.com.
They don’t have the freedom to freely explore the data, and find the kinds of insights that can lead to game-changing improvements in operational efficiency and mission success. Those insights may as well be behind an impenetrable steel door.
But if agencies are to meet today’s expectations, that door must be opened.