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Public Statements

Hearing of the Research Subcommittee - Next Generation Computing and Big Data Analytics

Hearing

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Good morning, I would like to welcome everyone to today's hearing where we
will examine how advancements in information technology and data analytics enable private and public sector organizations to provide greater value to their customers and citizens.

Industry, academia, and government are all interested in determining how to extract value, gain insights, and make better decisions based on the wealth of data that is generated today. In recent years, "Big Data" has become the popular term used to encompass this phenomenon.

TechAmerica, an information technology trade association, defines Big Data as "large volumes of high velocity, complex and variable data that require advanced techniques and technologies to enable the capture, storage, distribution, management, and analysis of the information."

Big Data offers a range of opportunities for private industry to reduce costs and increase profitability. It can enable scientists to make discoveries on a previously unreachable scale. And it can allow governments to identify ways to serve its citizens more efficiently.

The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that effective information management can provide $300 billion in annual value to the US health care sector alone. TechAmerica released a report last year highlighting how Big Data initiatives can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government services. And, through the use of advanced computing power and analytics techniques, universities and federal laboratories can drive new research initiatives that will significantly increase our scientific knowledgebase.

There are also various challenges associated with Big Data that the Committee will explore today.McKinsey has estimated that the US will face a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 professionals with significant technical depth in data analytics, and a further shortfall of an additional 1.5 million managers and analysts who can work effectively with big data analysis by 2018. Committee members will be interested to learn how industry, academia, and government are addressing this shortfall.

While the term Big Data is relatively new, public and private organizations have been investing in computing power and data analytics for a number of years. In March of last year, the Obama Administration announced a "Big Data Research and Development Initiative," including $200 million in new funding across six different federal departments and agencies. I am interested to learn how effectively these programs are being coordinated across the different federal agencies to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being leveraged effectively.

Finally, privacy and security are major concerns when private and public organizations are collecting,
analyzing, and disseminating massive data sets. We have an excellent panel of witnesses ranging across industry, academia and government. I'd like to extend my appreciation to each of our witnesses for taking the time and effort to appear before us today. We look forward to your testimony.


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