About big data

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Introduction

Big data is a term that is used to refer to large volumes of data that are always complicated to handle. Big data is a critical asset among the governmental institutions as it enables them to perform significant roles such as the formulation of adequate measures to counter terrorism, designing more advanced means of catering for the health welfare of the citizens, and the identification of favorable ways of responding to disasters. As a result of such benefits, the government keeps on collecting information from its citizens, for instance, their health status, which is carried out through the medical centers, and the percentage composition of each gender and age-group in the population, which is attained as a result of conducting a census.

The Big Data and Volume

As noted earlier, big data is usually in large quantities, which implies that its proportions are incomprehensible. The large volumes of such data are a major challenge that affects the processing and the compilation of the big data, which makes the separate firms to archive the data in the form of logs. Besides, most companies do not have the appropriate means for processing large volumes of evidence. Thus, they prefer to store the data in the form of the archives.

The Big Data and Velocity

Velocity is a measure of how quick the data streams in a firm. Two main factors impact the velocity of data. First, the data might be keyed in quite fast. Hence, some of it must be processed for the overall data to be maintained at a manageable level. In addition, the applications mandated to receive the data might be set in such a manner that it has to send the data to the storage app, which tends to make the data stream at a faster rate.

The Big Data and Variety

Variety is used to denote the diverse nature of the data received. Since the sources of the data are diverse, it is not possible to fit it into relational structures as soon as it is received (O’Reilly Media, 2012). The data received at any one point could be an image, text messages, or even some raw data collected from a sensor. Thus, the different forms of the data contribute to the variety of big data.

Importance of Big Data within Government Organizations

The essence of big data in governmental organizations cannot be underestimated as it plays some critical roles. The key roles of the Big Data include the enhancement of security, health care improvements, immediate response to disasters, and the reduction of costs and operational expenses, among others.

Reduction of Costs and Operational Expenses

Most governmental organizations have suffered immense losses due to lack of a comprehensive means of tracking some important exercises, such as the payments for the employees. For instance, in case some workers are erroneously paid, the government might be forced to recruit some workers to investigate the funds that might have been lost in the process. However, the government agencies can also use the big data to assess finances that would have been lost in case some workers were overpaid due to an error in the payment mechanism (Chestnut, 2016). Besides, the institutions can use big data to cross examine the cause of the payment process error. Hence, it will allow to lay out the favorable mechanisms to solve such a problem. According to the Copper State Communications, the big data also enables the government institutions to actually plan how the available resources would be utilized, thus, minimizing cases of fraud (Copper State Communications, 2017). The use of the big data in fraud prevention also plays an integral role in reducing the number of cash payouts that an institution might be paying to ineligible recipients. Consequently, the agencies can also use big data analytics as a means of reviewing any disability claims, thus, justifying whether a given application is falsified or not. Governmental institutions, like the Securities Exchange Commission, can also utilize the big data analytics as a means of pointing out any exceptions that can be used to indicate the occurrence of an unlawful trading activity.

The use of Big Data in the Health Sectors

The use of big data analytics has been a major force behind the improvement of the health care sectors all over the globe. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, the big data plays a critical role in the digitization of the medical records (Chestnut, 2016). As a result, experts point out that the big data facilitates the eradication of problems in health sectors, thus, improving efficiency in the health care sectors. McKinsey & Company are of the opinion that health researchers can use the big data to examine the favorable treatments that are effective in healing some disease, as well as identify the side effects of the medication. Additionally, the big data can be used to draw reasonable conclusions that can be used for minimizing health costs. According to the Copper State Communications, much advancement witnessed in the health sectors, for instance, the use of analytics in the management of epidemics is as a result of the application of the big data. Such discoveries have made it easier for the health-related sectors to contain any epidemic and, hence, minimize the number of deaths witnessed (Copper State Communications, 2017). Health agencies also use big data to formulate models that are crucial for the prediction of an impending health crisis and even design favorable solutions when addressing the problem.

Enhancement of Security

Adequate measures of addressing the security concerns all over the world have been successful as a result of the big data. Big data analytics is used by security personnel to carry out video surveillance and the biometric identification of people, for instance, by identifying their facial features, which helps them to arrest criminals and prosecute them (Copper State Communications, 2017). Therefore, the big data eradicates the need of reviewing video footages that would help in the identification of criminals manually, which might be time-consuming and quite tedious. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security has managed to identify criminals with ease and, thus, is capable of enhancing security in the United States.

Improvement of the Response to Disasters

Big data analytics can also be used to enhance the immediate response to disasters. Its ability to gather data randomly is an efficient way of making sure that the people affected by a disaster receive direct aid and are able to remain connected to their loved ones (Chestnut, 2016). Forbes also notes that the data retrieved from satellites can also be used in gauging the most appropriate means of identifying the best ways of responding to a disaster (O’Reilly Media, 2012).

Examples of Information the Government is Collecting

The government continuously gathers information about its citizens, which it uses in gauging the best means of increasing service delivery to the people. An example of the information obtained by the government is the health status of its citizens, which is usually done through the health care facilities. For instance, every medical center is required to keep a record of the number of patients that suffer from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and even cardiovascular diseases. The government makes use of these data in estimating the number of finances that it would use for providing free medical services to such patients and even the funds that should be set aside in running the health sector. Additionally, the government uses such data to approximate the number of hospitals it would need to set up to cater for the health interests of observed patients. Another example of information that the government collects is the census data, which is done periodically, for instance, each ten years. The data gathered during the registration period enables the government to realize the percentage proportions of its citizens regarding age and gender. The classification of such data into such segments is crucial as it allows the authorities to determine the funds that would be used in catering for the older adults through the programs like the cash programs. In addition, such data would also be valuable in identifying the size of the young population and, therefore, estimating the number of the demographic infrastructures, including schools and recreational centers, needed to cater for such people.

Conclusion

In a nut shell, the essence of the big data in the society cannot be underestimated due to the immense benefits associated with it. The discussion above reveals that big data analytics can be used by the law enforcers to identify law breakers and, hence, strengthen the security status of a nation. The health sectors can also use it to formulate new methods of preventing and curing diseases. Additionally, big data can be used to assess the side effects of some medications and, thus, identify the types of people who can be allowed to use the new medicines. Government institutions can also use big data analytics to cut costs that might be incurred while tracing the payment history of the employees. Government authorities, in particular, the disaster response departments, can also make use of the big data which is usually gathered through satellite collection and even phone calls to formulate the most favorable means of responding to a disaster that might have occurred. Due to such benefits that have been accrued as a result of big data analytics, the government always collects data from its citizens. For example, the information about the state of health of the citizens is usually carried out through medical centers to keep a record of the diseases affecting the members of the society. The government also makes use of the data collected through census to gauge the level of the demographic investments that are required in ensuring that the interests of the society are considered. Additionally, such data enables the government to realize the percentage of the population represented by the seniors and, therefore, approximate the funds it should use in programs aimed at enhancing the welfare of such people. Thus, the role of the big data in the functioning of the governmental organizations is immense and should not be underestimated.

 

References

Chestnut, T. (2016). Big data’s big role in government careers. Careers in Government. Retrieved on 1 September 2017, from,

https://www.careersingovernment.com/tools/gov-talk/about-gov/big-datas-big-role-government-careers/

Copper State Communications. (2017). The impact of big data on government agencies. Copper State Communications. Retrieved on 1 September 2017, from,

http://www.copper-state.com/impact-big-data-government-agencies/

O’Reilly Media. (2012). Volume, velocity, variety: What you need to know about big data. Forbes. Retrieved on 1 September 2017, from,

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oreillymedia/2012/01/19/volume-velocity-variety-what-you-need-to-know-about-big-data/2/#634bb24d70a1

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