After committing to a $200 million investment in data analytics and pledging to make as much Government-gathered data as possible available to the public, Barack Obama was called “The Big Data president” by The Washington Post.1
Not all of the Obama administration’s work with collecting and analysing data (usually our data…) was well received, of course. Obama’s presidency will go down in history as the point when we first began to realize the scale of the covert surveillance being carried out against the domestic population, thanks to Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks.
The administration have made some moves towards transparency, however, such as building the public data.gov portal through which they have promised to make their collected data available to everyone. For better or worse, Obama’s presidency has coincided with the huge explosion in data gathering, storing and analysis that we call Big Data – and his administration have been clear they want their slice of the action.
Administering the world’s leading economic power and its population of 300 million-plus people clearly takes a colossal amount of effort and resources. The federal Government have responsibility for national security, economic security, healthcare, law enforcement, disaster recovery, food production, education and just about every other aspect of their citizens’ lives.
These responsibilities have ...