From Data to Vision: Big Data in Government

From Data to Vision: Big Data in Government

Rhoda Joseph (Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9840-6.ch098
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Abstract

This chapter examines the use of big data in the public sector. The public sector pertains to government-related activities. The specific context in this chapter looks at the use of big data at the country level, also described as the federal level. Conceptually, data is processed through a “knowledge pyramid” where data is used to generate information, information generates knowledge, and knowledge begets wisdom. Using this theoretical backdrop, this chapter presents an extension of this model and proposes that the next stage in the pyramid is vision. Vision describes a future plan for the government agency or business, based on the current survey of the organization's environment. To develop these concepts, the use of big data is examined in three different countries. Both opportunities and challenges are outlined, with recommendations for the future. The concepts examined in this chapter are within the constraints of the public sector, but may also be applied to private sector initiatives pertaining to big data.
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Background

Over the last few years big data has becoming an increasingly examined topic in a variety of places. The big data phenomenon is currently gathering significant attention in both the public and private sectors. Big data is defined as “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze (McKinsey Global Institute, 2011)”. The growth of big data is generated from a number of sources including, online transactions, social media, cellular phones, radio frequency identification (RFID), global positioning systems (GPS) and many other sources.

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