recommended reading

In-Q-Tel Investment Signals Intel Community Focus on Data Sharing

extradeda/Shutterstock.com

The CIA’s venture capital arm is investing in cloud software provider Socrata Inc., a company that aims to “democratize” access to government data by making information more accessible to the public as well as internally to agency managers.

Under the terms of the deal, Socrata Chief Executive Officer Kevin Merritt said he could not disclose the value of In-Q-Tel’s investment, but noted it was among the participants in the company’s recently closed Series B round of financing, which raised $18 million.    

In a technical sense, Socrata’s work with In-Q-Tel won’t be significantly different from its work with other public sector clients, including the Health and Human Services Department and the cities of New York and Chicago, Merritt said.

“What Socrata offers is a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to put data in and in literally minutes have some basic understanding of what that data is telling you,” he said. “If you think about how any agency would try to analyze data using legacy technology, there would be some pretty significant barriers assembling servers, installing software and getting the data loaded to make sense of it visually or make sense of the geospatial data.”

The In-Q-Tel investment will allow the company to accelerate plans to adapt its software to other computer clouds and improve the geospatial and visualization capabilities of the platform, Merritt said.

The intelligence community has long struggled with how to share critical information more effectively among multiple agencies. The Intelligence and National Security Alliance, a government and industry group, in February released a paper calling for a common technology architecture based on input from 16 intelligence agencies. But earlier this summer, the Defense Intelligence Agency appeared to back away from that goal with a more limited solicitation exploring a common desktop environment.     

Ian Kalin, director of open data for Socrata and a former White House innovation fellow in 2012, said the partnership with In-Q-Tel will allow intelligence agencies to work together more efficiently: “Getting the right information to the right person at the right time -- it’s hard to overstate the value of that.” 

(Image via extradeda/Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.