This is a guest blog by Katie Dixon, Market Solutions Associate at Kyruus
The Obama Administration is investing big time in big data. On Friday, March 30, the Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) launched a $200 million, multi-agency effort titled the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative.” Fundamentally, the initiative’s mission is to highlight and create public-private partnerships in big data. The Administration is inviting industry, research universities, and non-profits to join forces and make the most of the opportunities created by big data. To view the announcement, click here or you can view the streaming video webcast.
While the initiative launches six new agency efforts, numerous agencies are already involved in the big data revolution including the: Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Veterans Administration (VA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Security Agency (NSA), among others. These agencies administer some of the most fundamental aspects of the American public’s life. For more detail, check out the official Big Data Fact Sheet.
What can we infer from the announcement? The initiative is an institutional precedent for big data as a discipline. In a sense, the federal government is legitimizing a practice that science and commercial companies have benefitted from for years. This is huge. One can extrapolate that big data is moving from an introductory/pioneering stage to a growth stage in its commercial life cycle. Big data is legit, it’s commercially viable and it can help the public live better.
A Call To Action
The announcement last week was designed to spur action. Now is the time for academia, corporations, NGOs, associations, foundations, governments and everything in between to step forward and make things happen. Collaboration is the key to identifying opportunities, inventing better products and systems, and reducing costs. The Administration knows that no one actor individually can address the biggest issues facing our citizenry. Together, however, possibilities are endless.
If you are interested in learning more about the announcement and big data initiatives, here are a few links.