U.S. government outgunned on big data

Optimism abounds for big data's impact on federal government operations, but technical skills and know-how are sorely lacking.

Federal managers for the U.S. government are optimistic about what big data technology and analysis can do to revamp operations, but lack the skills and money to do much about it.

That's the gist of a report from a Government Business Council and Booz Allen Hamilton survey, which was based on 313 respondents in 27 agencies.

The findings are notable given one of the government's biggest jobs is to provide and analyze data for various reasons beyond operations. Among the key findings:

  • 18 percent of federal managers feel they are proficient in using big data.


  • Half of program managers say their agency could do more to capitalize on big data, but 47 percent noted that their groups don't have the technical skill.
  • A third of respondents said they had elementary proficiency in big data, but added that they have to rely on analysts primarily.