Big Data for Governments


Big Data is a disruptive technology. It is changing major industries from the inside. In the next posts, we will learn how Big Data changes different industries.

Today’s focus: Big Data for Governments.

Big Data is of great benefit for governments on several layers. First, there is open data. Governments, cities and other public institutions store large amounts of data, that can be available to the public. Many cities around the globe make their data available via open data catalogs. At present, this is still far away from being big data, but we will soon be there.

The public sector has several other challenges that can be addressed by Big Data technologies. As similar with the banking industry, fraud is a main key here. Tax payers can be analyzed with Big Data technologies and those that avoid paying tax can be found by the financial departments. This increases the number of tax income and reduces the possibilities to hide from the tax. On the other hand, fraud and abuse on social services such as health insurance and retirement plans can be reduced (if covered by the state).

Another key topic for governments is the “Smart City” approach. A smart city operates on large amounts of data, that need to be processed somewhere, somehow. Smart cities have several interesting benefits for their inhabitants: within a smart city, the traffic is constantly improved. For instance, a car (which might drive on it’s own) will ask the city, not the navigation system for the best route to reach a destination. The benefit of that is that the city can collect all requests and then checks what routes might be overcrowded. The smart city will then route the cars in a way that traffic jams are reduced to a minimum by re-arranging and re-scheduling routes. Current navigation systems can react to traffic jams and change the routes, which will eventually create a traffic jam at another route. A smart city knows where a cars want to get to and can arrange the routes before traffic jams occur.

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Published by

Mario Meir-Huber

I work as Big Data Architect for Microsoft. With this role, I support my customers in applying Big Data technologies - mainly Hadoop/Spark - for their use-cases. I also teach this topic at various universities and frequently speak at various Conferences. In 2010 I wrote a book about Cloud Computing, which is often used at German & Austrian Universities. In my home country (Austria) I am part of several organisations on Big Data.

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