PUBLIC SECTOR

The Possibilities Are Endless with the OPEN Government Data Act

On January 14, the OPEN Government Data Act was signed into law. It's a big step forward in unlocking the value of the vast amounts of data that federal agencies have.  

The new law requires that open government data assets be published online as machine-readable data. By publishing and making government data sets available in open machine-readable format on issues such as climate, agriculture, or education, federal agencies will allow nonprofits, businesses, and the public to create innovative tools to analyze and learn from the data. What’s more, a catalog of data sources across functional areas could help to unearth new opportunities across local, state, and federal government to help improve the provision of service, coordinate service delivery, and inform joint efforts to make government more responsive and effective. The OPEN Government Data Act unlocks a range of exciting possibilities.    

Under the new law, the head of each agency must designate a non-political appointee employee in the agency as the Chief Data Officer of the agency. Among other responsibilities, the Chief Data Officer shall ensure that, to the extent practicable, the agency maximizes the use of data in the agency for cybersecurity and the improvement of agency operations.

The OPEN Government Data Act also requires heads of federal agencies, to the maximum extent practicable, to develop and maintain a comprehensive data inventory that accounts for all data assets created by, collected by, under the control or direction of, or maintained by the agency. 

The data landscape in federal agencies is complex, to say the least. How can agencies comply with the new law by inventorying all of their data, including the valuable machine data from computers, servers, networks, mobile devices and equipment? And how can they maximize the value of that data, both within and outside of the agency?

Splunk is here to help. We've been at it (quite successfully) for over a decade. We've been focused on machine data—generated and readable by machines. Machine data is what makes up 80% of the world’s data; every time there's an electronic activity, a record is created in the background. And we make this machine data (and any other machine-readable data) accessible, usable and valuable to everyone.

In our extensive experience dealing with data, we make it easier for organizations along four specific aspects on their "data journey":

  • Collect data – The first step in any data journey is to be able to ingest the data in all its variety, volume and velocity, so you can have it available for the decision maker in a consumable and usable form.
  • Manage data – In many cases, value directly correlates to currency, so it's important that data is curated for real-time usage. Additionally, it's important that this data is managed for availability when needed to augment later decision making.
  • Analyze data – Make it easy for analysts to sift through oceans of data and drive insights through analysis (in many cases that are not easily apparent) to help them make informed, confident decisions.
  • Act on data – Take action to effect an outcome, and if necessary, orchestrate and automate the set of tasks to enable response.

The goal here is to enable analysts and decision makers to focus on the objectives and outcomes, rather than data wrangling and curation. We do that for you.

We're excited to help government agencies to implement the OPEN Government Data Act.    

Until next time,
Ashok

Ashok Sankar
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Ashok Sankar

Ashok Sankar is the Director of Solutions Strategy focused on public sector and education markets at Splunk. In this role, he is responsible for evangelism of the company’s solutions portfolio, leading thought leadership and strategic initiatives, customer engagements and content marketing strategies for the company’s portfolio of data analytics solutions. He brings expertise across analytics, security, mobile, cloud and virtualization technologies and their applications in public sector and commercial industries. He holds a Master’s in Electrical Engg from Virginia Tech and a certificate in cybersecurity strategy from Georgetown University

 

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