"Big Data" Can Save Money and Lives Say Government IT Officials
Survey Reveals Great Potential for Big Data in Government, But There Are
Barriers to Adoption
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --"Big Data" and other analytical
tools have great potential to make governments more efficient and improve
citizens' lives, particularly in health and public safety sectors. A new study
released by the TechAmerica Foundation and commissioned by SAP AG (NYSE: SAP),
revealed that 87 percent of federal IT officials and 75 percent of state IT
officials say Big Data can have real and immediate impacts on how governments
The survey of nearly 200 public IT officials, conducted by renowned pollsters,
Penn Schoen and Berland, found that 83 percent of federal IT officials say Big
Data solutions can help government cut the federal budget by at least 10
percent, or $380 billion. Those surveyed also believe that Big Data can save
lives, for example by improving medical treatments.
Big Data Has Potential to Save Lives and Money
The study cites a number of ways the use of Big Data can benefit the public
oSubstantial budget cuts: Federal IT officials say real-time analytics of
Big Data can help the government cut at least 10 percent annually from the
federal budget, or about $1,200 per American, for example by detecting
improper healthcare payments before they occur.
oLifesaving potential: According to 87 percent of federal IT officials and
75 percent of state IT officials, the use of real-time Big Data solutions
will save a significant number of lives each year. For example, medical
researchers can aggregate information about healthcare outcomes to reveal
patterns that lead to more effective treatments and detection of
oCrime reduction: 75 percent of state IT officials see the practical
benefits of Big Data in medicine and public safety as extremely
beneficial. Police departments are currently using Big Data technology to
develop predictive models about when and where crimes are likely to occur,
helping dramatically reduce the overall crime rate in specific locations.
oEnhanced quality of life: Real-time Big Data is helping the government
improve the quality of citizens' lives, according to 75 percent of federal
IT officials. For example, by gaining insight into huge volumes of data
across agencies, the government can provide improved, personalized
services to citizens.
Big Data Faces Barriers to Adoption
While Big Data technology is expected to offer citizens significant benefits,
the survey also reveals cultural and practical barriers to adoption,
oPrivacy concerns: The biggest barrier for taking advantage of Big Data is
privacy concerns, according to 47 percent of federal IT officials.
Officials believe the challenge will be explaining that Big Data analytics
is not equivalent to "Big Brother."
oHigh costs: 39 percent of federal and state IT officials worry about the
expense of new tools and the level of investment needed.
oReturn on investment (ROI): A lack of clarity about Big Data's level of
ROI is a barrier for 42 percent of federal IT officials.
oLong process: Across both state and federal IT officials, about 40 percent
say database queries take too long using traditional database technology.
"The findings from this study underscore the infinite potential of Big Data
and reaffirm the findings of our Big Data Commission," said Jennifer Kerber,
president of the TechAmerica Foundation. "That governments can save money and
improve their service to citizens is clear from this study but it's also clear
that we must find ways to overcome adoption barriers – quickly."
"The ongoing budget debates in Washington and many state capitals are a useful
moment to appreciate what big data tools can do for government," said Jennifer
Morgan, president of SAP Public Services. "By combining disparate sources of
data and analyzing them in real time, government leaders and citizens can turn
'Big Data' into 'smart data' and gain a much clearer picture of how to save
taxpayer dollars and even save lives. Practical concerns such as costs,
consumer privacy, and return on investment must be addressed carefully so that
we can gain the enormous benefits of using Big Data tools."
To learn more, see the complete survey resultsclick here and view an
infographic depicting the survey results.
About TechAmerica Foundation
TechAmerica Foundation educates industry executives, policy makers and opinion
leaders on the promise of technological innovation to advance prosperity,
security and the general welfare. Launched in 1981, the Foundation is a
501c(3) non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of TechAmerica, which is the
leading voice and resource for the U.S. technology industry. The Foundation
disseminates award-winning industry, policy and market research covering
topics such as U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, innovation in
government, and other areas of national interest. It also organizes
conferences and seminars to explore pertinent issues with government and
industry representatives and to share the Foundation's findings. Learn more
about TechAmerica Foundation at www.techamericafoundation.org.
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SOURCE TechAmerica Foundation
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