Government: Analytics Help to Deal With Change


The rate of change in technology and in the world at large is a staple on conference programs this year. Sure, change has happened since some relative of Fred Flintstone invented the wheel, but it is happening so much faster today. Change is now measured in months instead of decades, and the rapid affects are seen across many disciplines from social media to cyberthreats to new careers.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

Technology drives change in societal behavior, and those societal changes fuel a demand for more technology. New technologies -- not just the computer but the airplane and the car -- enable changes in economies and government, and world events create the need for still more technologies.

Businesses face such changes every day with their success and jobs at stake. But it's government that has so much more at risk as technology drives change and change drives technology. It's government that holds our very safety, the welfare of humanity in its hands.

If government doesn't keep pace with change, all of us lose. We aren't just customers of government but stockholders as well.

How to deal with an uncertain future is one of the core themes of next month's 2016 SAS Government Leadership Forum, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Presenters will look at how government agencies can address today's challenges with the assistance of analytics. But they also will look at how to prepare for change a few years down the road, and much further down the road. How far? Let's say, two decades into the future, with some of the discussion focused on the National Intelligence Council's Global Trends 2035 report.

That report will be discussed by Dr. Gregory Treverton, chairman of the National Intelligence Council and adviser to the Director of National Intelligence, and Fritz Lehman, executive vice president and chief customer officer for SAS. The report examines global trends in areas such as economics, demography, ecology, energy, health, governance, security, identity, and geopolitics.

J.R. Helmig, chief analytics officer for SAS Federal, said in a recent interview, "We are going to be impacted, faster and more frequently than ever before, by changes in consumer trends (such as mobile devices and payments) and the velocity and impact of threats to communication and control systems (such as Internet-based communications, SCADA industrial controls, the use of automated attacks such as botnets, etc.).  We also will be impacted in positive ways, such as the sharing of digital health records.  All of this demands that government and industry leaders alike be proactive in identifying and implementing ever-evolving best practices in data collection, integrity, security, and governance.  We cannot wait for something to become widespread and then think about how it should be used."

The conference keynoter is Gen. Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general who served as director of the CIA and the NSA during times when the course of world events was changing at a rapid rate.

However, the conference isn't just about global security. The target audience includes representatives of many federal agencies, states, and government contractors. The agenda also reflects a focus on combating fraud in government.

Presenters will highlight the capabilities that the SAS Viya platform provide to fraud fighters. SAS last week introduced new Viya-based tools designed to support cognitive computing applications in the anti-fraud and cybersecurity space.

Helmig added, "We all face strains on resources -- not enough time, budget, or skilled personnel.  By using analytics to identify threats or violations that have the highest impact, leaders can optimize the use of resources to investigate and prosecute criminal activity that has the widest impact or consequence at the ecosystem level. "

Still other presentations will focus on Internet of Things and on case studies highlighting successful use of data by US and international agencies.

James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 10/8/2016 3:51:58 PM
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@James I guess I didn't notice that hop in technology. It's neat to see future tech as it was imagined in the past. 

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 10/5/2016 8:06:11 AM
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@TinyM. True sci-fi didn't predict touch screens that fit in the palm of your hand, but Star Trek skipped that UX and went straight to handheld voice interaction with a Siri-like character called "Computer".

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 10/5/2016 8:03:36 AM
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Technology certainly can help when it comes to predicting the future, although tech itself also will be one of the things that the world will have to deal with 20 or 30 years in the future. Tech won't just be a predictor but a driving force. I assume what the researchers are looking at are trends as opposed to specific events.

So you could think about the types of changes that time brings. What type of economic and behaviorial changes could dramatic improvements in the human/computer interface bring? Or, do future technology and automation provide us with more free time or do they move us further into an always-on life style. What might be the economic impact of a non-bank work/consumer force? What are the implications of a globe where borders are increasingly flexible? Does technology enable still additional religious fervor? Or might it make more of us non-religious? Can economic systems that today are supported in large part by retirement funds survive when more workers are forced into lower-paid "contract" roles and perhaps unable to save for retirement?

Technology can be a predictor for some of these things but also is the enabler for others.

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 10/3/2016 11:51:06 AM
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@ tinym.  -  I wonder if as the more we progress the more accurate we will become at predicting the future.  That is one point of analtyics after all. 

 

Speaking of changed, we've officially reached the point of no return for global warming.  How we are going to adapt to that remains unanswered. 

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/27/2016 10:15:19 PM
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@kq4ym I always wonder about predictions like these. Have people seen how far off sci-fi TV and movies have been? They didn't envision the super small touch screen that fits in the palm of the hand. 

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/27/2016 12:12:42 PM
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I'm skeptical of looking ahead too far, in the case of the cited report, decades ahead. How we can even remotely precict changes, other than there will be change...a very daunting task. It would be intereesting to see how past studies in trend predictions of the future have worked out. 

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/26/2016 4:03:43 PM
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@Seth. That 20-year outlook has me curious. I don't imagine that they can get super detailed. But I wonder what they will say the world will be like in 2035, and if they can anticipate things that the average person can't imagine.

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/26/2016 2:52:17 PM
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Seth, I'm in total agreement. Adaptation has always been key to survival itself since the dawn of times. The speed of change has and will continue to pick up, coupled with the complex interdependencies of the various factors in our lives makes for extreme challenges. We're juggling more balls at a faster pace because they are getting hotter.

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/26/2016 2:07:57 PM
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Our future depends on our ability to adapt and respond quickly.  With all the changes coming due to global warming, new diseases or old diseases in new locations life will keep us very busy. 

Re: Disruptive technologies
  • 9/23/2016 1:20:17 PM
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No question that government needs to be adaptive to change to be effective and viable. They actually are us and should be in sync with the changes we create in our lives. As noted, it's not an easy task but a necessity even more so today and in the future. Closer relations and collaboration will have to be formed with the private sector, notably tech, and all sectors to be successful.

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