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GCN : May 2013
or CIOs in the public and private sectors looking for ways both to innovate and save money, the combination of big data and mobile is increasingly appealing solution. For example, Westminster, U.K., recently posted online all of its geospatial data related to a state- run, London-based bicycle rental --- where the city's bike racks were, how many bikes were available for rental in real time and other map- ping and bike path data. Within days of the release, one of the agency's constituents had taken that information and built a mobile app to help people plan future bicycle journeys. Today, it's easier for citizens to get around and the app is also helping reduce pollution, boost public health, and make more room on public transportation. This is just one example of why CIOs are so interested in big data and mobility, according to venture capital rm Sierra Ventures, which recently released a study titled "Seizing Opportunity: The Transi- tion from Legacy to Innovation in Enterprise IT." According to that report, which was conducted in conjunction with its CIO Advisory Board, when it comes to innovation many CIOs are making big data and mobility an even higher priority than cloud computing and social media. Meanwhile, a TechAmerica Foun- dation study in January found that 75 percent of federal IT of cials surveyed think that real-time data -- something that mobile devices can enable -- is already "helping government improve the quality of citizens' lives." Where the toys are The reason that big data is intersect- ing with mobile is simple: Reach. In order for big data to be successful there needs to be a common way to disseminate information to a wider audience. Mobile in particular has also been a huge data sources as billions of data points have been collected by carriers, and those data points will grow exponentially as cell phone usage continues to grow. Today, 78 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 17 own cell phones and 47 percent of those own smartphones, according to a March Pew Research report. Likewise, the number of devices per U.S. household with online access is up to 5.7 -- almost a half a percentage point growth in three months, according to the NPD Group's "Connected Home Report." During the same three- month period, the installed base of tablets grew by almost 18 million, with almost 60 percent of U.S. households now owning a tablet device. Combined, connected devices now number about a half a billion and growing. The challenge for government IT executives is how to extend access to big data initiatives without com- promising the security or quality of the data or other agency resources. In fact, the TechAmerica Founda- tion's report found that "privacy and policy concerns" trumped "demonstrating the level of return on investment" by a wide margin at the state level -- 40 percent versus 22 percent, respectively. At the federal level, privacy and policy was also the top concern, cited by 47 percent of federal IT of cials as opposed to 42 percent of of cials who cited ROI. Sponsored Report BEST PRACTICES FOR BIG DATA CHALLENGES Big data goes mobile FULL REPORT ONLINE Go to GCN.com/2013BigDataChallenges 2. Sizing Up Big Data: 4 Ways to Succeed 3. Big data's security imperative 4. Big data has big potential in the cloud 5. Visualization drives home big data's value Best Practices for Meeting Big Data Challenges Report Articles