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Re: Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data Webcast (March 29, 3PM EDT)

From: Mark Montgomery <markm@kyield.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 12:28:40 -0600
Message-ID: <B6D45C06F36C4051BD4300CFEC4A1458@OwnerPC>
To: <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
First my apologies on the misssppellinngg in post the other day on this topic-- 80hr work week, allergies, on the run and Outlook auto/send spell check failed--which historically only happens when sending to public.. still shouldn't happen.

Some thoughts on this topic and the linked post 

1) I don't think it's useful to consider the U.S. Gov't as either state-of-the-art or competitive -- usually on serves to misinform and prevent improving competitiveness. While large sections, many components, and many individuals are of course, as a unified organizational system, economic entity, functional system, and/or reflective of political system it is clearly not -- this is not intended as a jab but rather based on clear evidence. From an old management consultant's perspective it was always a challenge to move clients towards awareness and acceptance of unbiased evidence, which can only speak for themselves if the ear piece is turned on --and eyes are not looking away from the increasingly bright lights of the train. In looking back when faced with an organization that actually believed the press releases -- especially when claiming world leadership, the predictive modeling was in every case I recall quite poor. Math tells a good story, but only when allowed.

2) The web cast by Gus Hunt was I think especially valuable and appreciated -- perhaps more common now but quite rare in the past. I found myself in almost total agreement from evidence-also rare and telling, esp. given a radically different  perch from which to form perspective. Well done.

3) Specifically on the acquisition/ cloud topic -- of course has been discussed in similar ways since the commercialization of the web and yet remarkably resistant to adoption--cloud helps for data, it's one of those many things that sound great but when tested haven't worked terribly well. I do see one specific issue that is interrelated from current private sector case that may add value. Directly and through well-known and highly respected prospective partner we have large organizations interested in our pilot, which is very much in line with the goals outlined here, standards, etc., but it is unlike most in that it's an organizational system. What we are finding in some cases is that part of the organization has adopted standards - R&D for example, but not on the business side /DW. IBM's DB2 news along with Oracle and other options like nosql make possible, but I constantly run into advocates who seem to think that one can solve the world's problems with an app -- actually the evidence is quite strong that entire organizations must be functioning at a high level to serve missions, and in making organizational systems available in this model (speaking to the call for developers to take a big risk here--many have tried in past and gov't goes back to same well), the back of the house prep needs to have been done. We just observed a big disconnect between a CTO and CIO in this regard in an important global company -- in this case the CTO was ready, CIO wasn't and CEO is still pretty clueless. 

4) Another issue that many have been working on behind the scenes for years that I think is worth repeating due to a recent experience.

A CIO in a large government entity was referred to our pilot from internal experts (the gov't market hasn't been a priority for us, despite need and good match otherwise--although this issue is not restricted to any sector)

He reviewed our material and reported back that he didn't see how our system would help an IT team....

Mountains of material internally and externally, including the introductory letter he was responding to clearly stated that it's an organizational system with incoming directly from his stakeholders and supervisors, but this was the response. It speaks perhaps in part to the CIO alignment issue but also many other factors, including acquisition, education, revolving door syndrome, perhaps more structural innovation barriers, and IT governance. 

I cannot waste any additional effort on the organization -- it could have serious implications for their related economy and competitiveness. Even with increased awareness the importance of IT architecture on economics needs much light obviously. Pretty shocking to see confirmation that a CIO of a large gov't org is still expecting team and career to be personally served by vendors rather than the mission of the org-- a culture reflective of Katrina among others. 

5) A couple of links from our work that may be of interest -- neither promotional in any way, but may be informative if not providing some future visibility --

Legacy of the Tōhoku Earthquake: Moral Imperative to Prevent a Future Fukushima Crisis 
(non-technical- more policy and governance related)

What’s Wrong With the Neural Network? Lack of Data Structure that Enables Governance  
(more technical speaking- just a bit to cyber security and data structure relative to Internet governance as opposed to just the Web-- quite a bit of confidential information on this I can't share but important overview)

--MM-- Kyield
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Brand Niemann 
  To: 'Gannon Dick' ; 'Ed Summers' ; 'Jeanne M Holm' 
  Cc: 'public-egov-ig' 
  Sent: Friday, April 06, 2012 10:53 AM
  Subject: RE: Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data Webcast (March 29, 3PM EDT)



  From: Gannon Dick [mailto:gannon_dick@yahoo.com] 
  Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:15 PM
  To: Ed Summers; Jeanne M Holm
  Cc: public-egov-ig
  Subject: Re: Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data Webcast (March 29, 3PM EDT)


  Wow Ed, thanks to whomsoever named it "Helping Big Data" and for the colon seizure I had before I read what you were actually talking about.

  You (and Jeanne) can make it up to me by pummeling anyone who says "survival of the fittest" while screaming "no grass, no lions! ecosystems!".


  Points two and three are of particular importance, I think.  Silicon Valley is not going to play by either existing rule set (Title 5 or Title 13).  They want to "play" by both.   Big Data by and large does not see the long term corrosive effect as their problem to solve.    Once you do know statistical methods, it is hard to imagine injecting a self-serving bias, and harder yet not to attribute the bias to stubbornness or ignorance.  This effect is also pervasive in Labor Law, or as I refer to it, "the exaltation of the lesser sociopath".


  I have a fourth suggestion, and that is to publish the CIA World Factbook in more accessible Open Data formats. It has been Public Domain since inception, but often "old statistics" and "old news" are conflated.  I'd be more comfy with this, I suppose, if I thought either term had any real meaning.  There is nothing in the Scientific Method which prohibits the use of a hard-wired initial state.  I know what Wisconsin-ness is: same as it was last time.  One of the most powerful tools eGovernment has is Shannon's Maxim ("the enemy knows the system").  Huh? Yes, by this formulation: The less obscure the organization of the outside world the easier it is for citizens of one jurisdiction to relate to each other as equals, from which sharing data becomes second nature, along with an investment in data fidelity.  This also can be used to demonstrate circumstantially bad eGovernment ideas:  Crowdsourcing does not mean that a lazy Sunday Afternoon in Canberra needs the contemporaneous input of liquored-up cowboys in Dallas on Saturday Night, for example.


  Big Data is a tough crowd since they know the difference between deceleration and resonance.  Just remember "no grass, no lions".  Good luck.





  From: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>
  To: public-egov-ig <public-egov-ig@w3.org> 
  Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:38 AM
  Subject: Challenges and Opportunities in Big Data Webcast (March 29, 3PM EDT)

  Of possible interest to folks in the US (and elsewhere, maybe). The
  first and second bullet points seem particularly relevant for the w3c
  egov efforts.



  The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will host a
  live webcast Thursday at 3 p.m. eastern time to outline how the
  government can “help big data” with its Big Data Research and
  Development Initiative.

  Here are three things the feds could do right off the bat to promote
  better use of big data:

  * put the government’s own data sets into open formats
  * push states to include a data or statistical literacy component in
  their education plans
  * establish ways to continuously collect data on prescribed topics as
  opposed to relying on temporary snapshots

  Speakers at the event will include John Holdren, assistant to the
  president and director of the White House Office of Science and
  Technology Policy; Subra Suresh director of the National Science
  Foundation, and Marcia McNutt, director of the US Geological Survey.

Received on Friday, 6 April 2012 18:29:12 UTC

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