Click here to close now.


@BigDataExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson

Blog Feed Post

New year, new Congress: What’s next for DATA?


[This post by Hudson Hollister is cross-posted on the Data Transparency Coalition's blog.]


Tomorrow a new U.S. Congress – the 113th, elected last November – will be sworn in.  The 112th Congress finished its run with a divisive confrontation on fiscal priorities.

Advocates of opening up government data are rightfully disappointed at the lack of Congressional action on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act. The DATA Act, championed by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in the House of Representatives and by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate, would have required the U.S. government to publish all executive-branch spending data on a single Internet portal. Spending data is currently reported to at least seven separate compilations maintained by different agencies, some publicly accessible and others not.

The DATA Act also would have set up consistent data identifiers and markup languages for all spending data, which would have allowed the separate compilations to be searched together, dramatically enhancing government accountability.

The DATA Act would generate new opportunities for the tech industry, as our Coalition demonstrated at its DATA Demo Day last summer. If U.S. federal spending data were consistently published and standardized – Big Data analytics companies could develop new ways to find waste and fraud; financial management vendors could offer new services to their existing federal clients; and infomediaries like Google could republish and repackage the data for the public and profit from advertising revenues.

What happened?

The DATA Act was first introduced in both chambers in June 2011, and shortly thereafter was approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and sent to the full House of Representatives. After further revisions the bill passed the full House in April 2012. In September 2012, Sens. Warner and Portman rewrote and reintroduced the bill in the Senate to address objections from grantees and contractors. But the next step – consideration by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and the committee’s recommendation to the full Senate – never occurred, because the committee did not hold a business meeting between the DATA Act’s reintroduction and the end of the Congress. The HSGAC’s leaders – chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-ME) – didn’t find the DATA Act important enough to merit the time and effort of a committee meeting, deliberation, and a vote.

With the end of the 112th Congress and the start of the 113th, all pending legislative proposals are wiped out and must be re-introduced.

Is the DATA Act dead? Absolutely not! Chances are good that the bill will be introduced again and passed – by both chambers, this time! – in 2013.

Here’s why.

  • The DATA Act’s champions aren’t going away. Rep. Issa, the DATA Act’s original author, and Sen. Warner, its first Senate sponsor, remain well-placed to champion a new version of the bill, with Issa keeping his position as chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Meanwhile, term limits and retirement will bring new leadership to the Senate HSGAC: chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Tom Coburn (R-OK). Carper and Coburn may well prove more enthusiastic about pursuing data transparency in federal spending than Lieberman and Collins were.
  • The Recovery Board’s spending accountability portal IS going away. The original DATA Act was based on lessons learned from the work of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the temporary federal agency established by Congress in 2009 to oversee the spending mandated by the economic stimulus law. The Recovery Board used standardized electronic identifiers and markup languages to make its online accountability portal fully accurate, complete, and searchable. According to the Recovery Board’s most recent report, inspectors general using the portal recovered $40 million in stimulus funds from questionable contractors and grantees and prevented $30 million from being paid out in the first place. The Recovery Board’s portal could easily be expanded to cover all spending rather than just stimulus spending. (No reliable government-wide spending accountability portal exists.) But the Recovery Board’s legal mandate only covers overseeing the stimulus. The temporary agency will be eliminated when the stimulus law expires on September 30, 2013. Unless Congress acts, the Recovery Board’s portal will be decommissioned on that date – and replaced with nothing. The Recovery Board’s imminent demise should put pressure on Congress to pass legislation to make sure that the time, money, and effort spent to create the stimulus accountability portal are not wasted. The April 2012 House version of the DATA Act – and amendments our Coalition suggested for the September 2012 Senate version – would do exactly that.
  • The press is taking notice. Last month, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank asked why the DATA Act – “so uncontroversial that it passed the House on a voice vote” – has yet to achieve full passage. Milbank’s reaction is that of any smart layperson: the need to publish all federal spending data online, and make it fully searchable through electronic standardization, sounds like something the executive branch should be doing already – and if it isn’t, Congress should tell it to.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

@BigDataExpo Stories
Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data 3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake:
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innov...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In their session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, co-founder and the VP of Product at, and Tomer Levy, co-founder and CEO of, will explore the entire process that they have undergone – through research, benchmarking, implementation, optimization, and customer success – in developing a processing engine that can handle petabytes of data. They will also discuss the requirements of such an engine in terms of scalability, resilience, security, and availability along with how the archi...
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Machkey International Company will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Machkey provides advanced connectivity solutions for just about everyone. Businesses or individuals, Machkey is dedicated to provide high-quality and cost-effective products to meet all your needs.
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bryan Forrester, Senior Vice President of Sales at eFolder, will present how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He will also demonstrate how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, foc...
The cloud has reached mainstream IT. Those 18.7 million data centers out there (server closets to corporate data centers to colocation deployments) are moving to the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Achim Weiss, CEO & co-founder of ProfitBricks, will share how two companies – one in the U.S. and one in Germany – are achieving their goals with cloud infrastructure. More than a case study, he will share the details of how they prioritized their cloud computing infrastructure deployments ...
Data loss happens, even in the cloud. In fact, if your company has adopted a cloud application in the past three years, data loss has probably happened, whether you know it or not. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bryan Forrester, Senior Vice President of Sales at eFolder, will present how common and costly cloud application data loss is and what measures you can take to protect your organization from data loss.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Luxoft Holding, Inc., a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Luxoft’s software development services consist of core and mission-critical custom software development and support, product engineering and testing, and technology consulting.