Commoditization of data will drive federal mission success

Possessing the ability to move data from anywhere to anywhere with a single platform to feed analytic processes enables government organizations to achieve miss...

In the age of information, all processes intersect the network in one form or another, driving the production and storage of digital data to ever increasing heights. That data is expected to continue rising and multiplying as cloud modernization becomes a pillar in government, along with its ability to seamlessly integrate and manage data wherever it may be — the birth of hybrid multi-cloud data management.

Possessing the ability to move data from anywhere to anywhere with a single platform to feed analytic processes enables government organizations to achieve missions faster and more strategically than before. In using a hybrid data management platform, teams can find, understand and utilize data for their benefit wherever it may be. However, data doesn’t just stop with experts.

A data-driven approach can be applied to any vertical or profession that may aid agencies and has huge implications for the future, especially as AI and machine learning take hold within the enterprise. The commoditization of data is a theme that must shine through within government in order to allow federal agencies to truly take advantage of the data at their disposal. Providing everyone the ability to sort and analyze data regardless of their role within the organization will provide great success for government objectives.

The commoditization of data goes hand in hand with the federal government’s direction regarding data: How can agencies become data-centric to achieve mission success?

Government taking a more data-centric approach

Recent data strategies and legislation from the Defense Department have been implemented by various leaders across DoD agencies, all intended to advance mission-based data-driven decision making. These initiatives are occurring across multiple teams, including:

  • In the beginning of March, the DoD released its cyber workforce strategy, outlining the Defense agencies’ strategy at closing workforce management gaps, remaining at the cutting-edge of technology and highlighting why it’s essential the team transforms into a data-centric organization.
  • Also in March, the department shared its progress related to its adoption of cloud computing across the enterprise and further emphasized its zero trust strategy, meant to strengthen its IT systems against cyberattacks and spotlight the importance of securing and managing data properly.
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency released its Data Strategy Implementation Plan (IPlan) in 2022, aiming to strengthen integrated network capabilities and improve functionality in the agency’s management systems by fully leveraging data to devise a “data-driven culture.”

As the use of cloud builds up and this data-centric trend continues, agencies must be able to identify the value of data as a whole and how it can be used throughout an organization. In reality, all forms of data can be used in numerous situations and is an important asset for mission success, but right now, data is geared towards the select few.

Leaders need to assess how to get the power of data in the hands of more government workers, allowing different facets of organizations to take full advantage of the data that is normally analyzed by data scientists and engineers.

Commoditization of data

The inclusion of data in government plans and strategies has come a long way — agencies have a keen understanding of how data, when utilized correctly and effectively, can have major impacts on mission-critical operations. The power of data and its ability to change the direction of government will be realized when it’s able to be wielded by a magnitude of people. The next step is to commoditize.

Data utilization is still very nuanced, yet an important opportunity for government. The challenge today with harnessing data is that it’s geared towards data scientists and engineers who are extensively trained to analyze information, or the few people who have adapted to the specific skills as their position requires. There are some tools available that allow for easier access to data, but they’re still only set up for skilled individuals and they are not enough to incite the mass commoditization of data.

One common example is the use of mainstream AI and how it can be applied to the workforce. A huge component of AI is that its real-world applications are based on the model’s interpretation of data. Tools that leverage and analyze data have become available for the average consumer, such as ChatGPT, tapping into the commoditization of data — the sentiment is that people should be able to use these tools with ease, in turn allowing more employees the ability to access and utilize data.

This will also limit the amount of dark data (unknown data) within the ecosystem. With more government workers able to access data, teams can divide and conquer more efficiently when pulling for and searching for different forms of data.

Teams and technology working together

It’s essential that data become accessible via tools to allow many more government employees to leverage it in their daily activities, without requiring the background of a data scientist or analyst. This will give federal teams the opportunity to have more employees examining more data at a faster rate and from various sections of the agency.

Data can be harnessed to make informative decisions and improve mission success with the help of AI, hybrid cloud and other tools that unlock the limitless potential data can serve. Organizations that succeed in optimizing the process of discovering, classifying and leveraging data to feed AI and machine learning models are in a great position to reduce risk and unlock fresh, valuable insights that drive operational efficiencies.

Lastly, enabling more of the workforce to leverage the insight data centric tools provide will empower organizations to achieve missions faster and more strategically than ever before.

Rob Carey is president of Cloudera Government Solutions.

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Related Stories