State and Local Government

Big Data for State and Local Government: Beyond the Hype

Big data has a huge role to play in a wide variety of state and local government functions. Realizing the full value of intelligence locked in huge amounts unstructured data means looking beyond traditional data management and database technologies in how data is ingested, processed and accessed. Understanding patterns that exist across unstructured and structured data types means applying statistical models and pattern analysis to the data.

Splunk's ability to take in massive amounts of structured and unstructured data of any type from any system means state and local governments can ask new questions of their data and new insights and efficiencies can be gained.

A new study released by the TechAmerica Foundation revealed that 87 percent of federal IT officials and 75 percent of state IT officials say big data can have an immediate impact on how governments operate.

Splunk can help state and local agencies that don't have the expertise, human resources or computational capacity to manage and analyze all of their data. Big data systems can be used to help reduce the crime rate in specific locations through hotspot maps, monitor for the detection of outbreaks of dieses such as West Nile Virus. Analyzing big data can also reveal the impact and source of ozone in a city, improve cyber security and protect citizen data, support system and service availability and personalize services for citizens. Big data solutions are becoming an essential component of government IT operations and will continue as a key driver of security and operational intelligence for years to come.

State and local customers are using Splunk to monitor 911 calls, measure response times and monitor the completion of time-sensitive reports. Automated reminders can be sent to investigators if reports aren't filed in a timely fashion. Splunk can be used to create geographic views of crime patterns sorted by type so that the right resources can be applied. Citizens have started to challenge traffic camera citations by requesting the last 24 hours of traffic camera system log data. Many municipalities don't have the time or budget to field these requests. Splunk can easily create PDF reports based on the time period and camera metadata and then scrub the data to show only the ticketed person's license plate information.

Inappropriate data access and data privacy are both top state and local government concerns. Data breaches can hurt not just state and local governments but the thousands or even millions of the people they serve. Recent research shows that a single U.S. data breach costs on average $7 million, or over $200 per record compromised. State and local government data breaches can quickly reach budget-breaking costs. Splunk's ability to understand, ingest and time series index tens of terabytes of data per day in any form from any source means it can be used to examine all of your data, including where today's most sophisticated threats appear. Splunk gives an agency the tools to discover the 'who, what, when where and why' of any security event. Splunk's ability to ingest any data without normalization frees you from traditional connector and collector lifecycle management to higher value activities such as asking questions of your data using Splunk's command language and unique schema-on-the-fly capability. With Splunk all data is security relevant.

In order to keep buses and trains running on time, transit authority officials can use data and ticketing data to analyze rider habits, traffic schedules and other factors that influence how people get around town. Patterns in data can tell officials when more rides should be scheduled to account for increases in passengers, and when schedules need to be adjusted based on predictable traffic patterns in specific time periods.

The ability to collect any structured or unstructured data such as equipment GPS data, social media, personnel time management systems and inventory and manufacturing lists allows a motorist to use social media to report a road problem and provide a photograph, create data driven visualizations of equipment dispatched to the area, understand who is performing the fix and with what materials. Repeated reports of the same problem over time could be linked to a specific product manufacturer or the road crew that performed the work.

People often demand transparency from their government officials about how they spend their money. By using big data analytics, governments can improve the way they allocate funds by finding and eliminating potential inefficiencies in spending. Officials can break down everything from budgeting to planning to human resources initiatives, finding ways to trim funding and reallocate dollars toward initiatives where the funds will help the most.