Open government, global competitiveness, Defense Intelligence and Homeland Security, and new public-private partnerships for the advancement of education, environment, science and technology -- these are some of the oft-heard themes in the corridors of government agencies at the federal, state and local levels and across international borders.
Governments know that the move toward opening government data for public use is gaining momentum because of several successful initiatives. They not only provide a safer, more transparent public relationship, these initiatives are making great strides in promoting innovation and business growth which in turn stimulate the economy and increase tax revenues, and reduce the need for social spending.
Despite these benefits, the governments face increased budget pressure and an expanding number of complex information sources that must be delivered in a fast and highly secure manner. As a result, more government agencies are looking to data virtualization for government, defense intell and non-profits benefits to provide better information sharing, timely delivery and a superior knowledge base to gain faster business insights. Smart government, is perhaps an oxy-moron to some people, but wherever you find data virtualization being used in government, defense intell and non-profits, they do exist, as in these examples:
The EU Homeland Security project deployed data virtualization as part of a system for situation awareness and crisis management among multiple security agencies. By accessing a diverse set of law enforcement databases, Web data and distributed sensors, data virtualization allowed the agency to create a unified data layer and deliver intelligence feeds and alerts on a real-time basis.
The National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute uses data virtualization to transform genome data from the Cancer Genome Atlas to the International Cancer Genome Consortium format in a scalable manner to make this information available to a larger research community.
Social Interest Solutions, a non-profit, set up data virtualization to enable the One-e-App application that provides a single interface for underserved people to submit electronic applications and identify eligibility for multiple federal, state, local, private and nonprofit programs.
The Inspector General's office has the task to monitor compliance and prevent wastage across agencies. They chose data virtualization to quickly and efficiently provide a unified view of its disparate data sources to reporting and predictive analytics systems. The IG’s data is spread across hundreds of structured and unstructured sources, and it also needs data from other federal agencies and Web sources. The data virtualization solution reduced costs (by minimizing manual data extraction efforts) and delivers timely and comprehensive data to consuming users and systems. The insight from these systems will strengthen the IG’s ability to identify and prevent fraudulent activities.