Mar 29, 2012

What will the White House's big data initiative mean for the future of big data?

The Obama administration announced a big data initiative today dedicating over $180 million in grants and $250 million in Dept. of Defense spending. My numbers may be off a little, but what's a few million between friends? Big Data has become a term that gets thrown about all the time, but outside of large enterprise users, I haven't seen it as a tool used by a wider audience. Clearly, that could just be me hanging out with the wrong crowd. Will this plan have much of an effect as to the development of big data as a tool for wider use than we see now?


I thought I would wow the crowd with my observation that all those drones the US is flying around the world must be generating huge amounts of data, but Wired beat me to it: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/big-data/ .  


The amount of money being devoted to Big Data by the government may not be huge compared to many commercial efforts, but the thing about spending on DoD projects is that they have a well know tendency to expand, and almost never contract.  And I suspect once they start going down this road, and they presumably see the value of analytics, this will expand big time. 


I think its a positive, but indirectly. Much like the government's support of cloud computing validated the approach for many private sector orgs on the sidelines, well-publicized use of Big Data (whether it leads to benefits or not) will encourage businesses to do the same. --Paul Calento

No, I don't think it will have much of an effect at all. The dollar figures you mentioned are tiny compared to money in the private sector. So I think it will be the private sector that drives Big Data development over the next five to ten years.

The White House effort just reeks of government bureaucrats flinging money at a new buzzword. It won't amount to much over the long haul, but it probably made the bureaucrats feel good about themselves.

Perhaps they should have taken the money and put it toward the national debt instead.
Answer this