March 05, 2013, 11:37 AM — If anybody has big data, it's the federal government. Data about government grants. Records of payments to Medicare providers. Information about worker compensation claims. Financial data on public companies. Demographic data from the U.S. Census.
The possibilities for combining various data in ways that could streamline processes and save taxpayer money seem endless. And yet federal agencies have just started scratching the surface of what may be possible.
There are analytics projects scattered throughout the federal government, but they are limited in scope, and the lessons learned are rarely shared with other agencies. (For the reasons why, see Wanted (desperately): Data standards for government data.)