re: Big Data Initiative Or Big Government Boondoggle?
The criticism leveled at government's efforts to address Big Data appear to miss the mark slightly. Government is not one industry, but in reality all commercial verticals rolled in to one market. Therefore asking different agencies to "integrate functions" is analogous to asking an airline (eg. DOD) to match its business processes to those of a bank (Treasury) to gain economies of scale. Where to start?
Unlike the commercial sector which seeks to harness Big Data for competitive advantage, government's efforts to address Big Data represent an effort by the Public Sector at all levels to restructure itself according to the needs of the tax payer. In principal it is far more aggressive -- and more likely to succeed -- than efforts to "Re-Invent Government" years ago.
Admittedly, as Mr. Henschen makes clear, the policy challenges are always the most difficult, yet the Big Data technology now allows such restructuring to occur and by better defining how government interacts with the citizen affords policy makers a quantitative validation for their decisions on structure. While the conference may have been largely silent on Data Center Consolidation, this process is proof of government's drive to consolidate, and Big Data can be used to more effectively consolidate functions, systems and programs. The validation provided by Big Data is necessary as such changes must be accepted at the political and legislative level - an area not always open to logic.