Review: Feds provide a handy window into their IT spending

The Federal IT Dashboard, a tool that puts the government's technology spending on display, is a handy overview of agency spending that provides a few "did you know" moments.The IT Dashboard is an effort by the U.

The Federal IT Dashboard, a tool that puts the government's technology spending on display, is a handy overview of agency spending that provides a few "did you know" moments.

The IT Dashboard is an effort by the U.S. government to be more transparent about spending. And when you're spending $74.2 billion on IT a little transparency is needed.

Here are some initial thoughts about the IT Dashboard:

The graphics are nice. The Feds do a nice job of summarizing projects and spending by agency. The dashboard sure beats going to individual agencies and mining PDFs. Simply put, this government 2.0 thing can be handy.

For instance, here's a look at the Department of Defense's IT spending. At a glance you quickly find out that 11 percent of projects need attention or have significant concerns.

For the Department of Homeland Security though 17 percent of investments need attention or have significant concerns.

From there each agency has its overview. Across all agencies 32 percent of investments need attention or have significant concerns.

In addition, you can track spending by category such as upgrades and maintenance spending. In other words, the dashboard reveals what it takes to keep the lights on.

And you can build your own feeds for analysis.

Bottom line: The IT Dashboard is a handy tool for anyone that wants to analyze how the Feds spend their tech dollars. The analysis portion could be beefed up a bit though. For instance, I'd like to see how some of these projects are being fixed going forward.