How analytics and open source can improve government agility


It has been almost a year since then-U.S. CIO Tony Scott introduced the federal open source policy that called for agencies to share federally-developed software source code.

two politicians walking in government buildingThe policy, more than anything, aimed to make agencies more agile. Instead of redeveloping the same programs the open source policy would allow other agencies, and other organizations, to benefit from the work that had already been done.

On June 13 at the 2017 OSEHRA Open Source Summit in Bethesda, Md., Doug Liming, senior enterprise architect at SAS, presented how data analytics can improve government agility and use of open source technology.

In a talk titled, “Agile Development and a Focus on the Data Analytics Process,” Liming provided a number of use cases, including an example from one of the world’s largest health organizations. The session looked at best practices and explored how using proprietary and open source languages provides any agency’s data scientists with the full arsenal of tools they need to complete their work.

The talk also demonstrated how to integrate this approach within an agile environment by pushing the analytic workload to run inside the Hadoop cluster; enabling data scientists to dive inside the data lake and harness the full power of an agency’s information. Ultimately, this gives agencies the ability to make data-driven decisions based on previously undetectable patterns in data, meaning employees spend less time generating reports and more time working to achieve the mission at hand.

With the federal transition and cybersecurity receiving so much focus, sometimes the other aspects of information technology get lost. The use of data analytics can provide agencies with a path to improve their use of open source technologies to allow agencies to integrate new applications easier than ever before. By following these best practices agencies can save money, improve performance and run a more streamlined organization.

The federal government has pushed agencies toward a future with more open source. With the first steps of the policy already in place agencies now have an opportunity to take open source and make it work for them.

For more information on the event, please visit the conference website.

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Trent Smith

Trent handles government and education communications for SAS. Opinions shared are his own...or someone else's...he's not much for original thought. But they definitely don't represent SAS.

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