By Ines Mergel // March 26, 2013
“Big data” is quickly making its way into conversations in government. However, it is difficult for government officials to identify what big data means for their own organizations. What are the challenges? How can they take on something new that does not necessarily connect to their core mission? And not least, how should they tackle the issue to respond to requests from the public?
The big data discussion hits government in two ways: First, big data is created by citizens in their daily online interactions using social media either directly with government or talking amongst themselves about issues related to government. As the recently released first guidance for social media metrics for federal agencies shows, government is just now getting into the groove of measuring, interpreting and acting on insights they can potentially gain from their interactions with citizens. The second trend centers around open government and the launch of the federal data-sharing site data.gov, a public website that hosts hundreds of data sets produced by federal agencies.
Originally, the big data discussion started outside of government, but has direct implications for government as more and more agencies, politicians and citizens are using social media to interact with each ...