United States

Overwhelmed by data? Using and Protecting the “Right” Data

Oct 10, 2017
From the Government Institute

Federal, state and local governments have access to incalculable amounts of data to manage programs; improve operations; fight fraud, waste and abuse; and better serve citizens. Whether generated in house or available externally, data is exploding.

With the tremendous expansion of all types of data available to governments — from data on traffic patterns to information on key economic trends to national security intelligence — and a dramatically increased ability to use this data to manage government, it begs the question: Do we have, and are we protecting, the right data? The financial cost of over-protecting low-value, low-quality data can be high if all data is treated equally regarding retention and safeguarding. Similarly, we’ve seen the high national security and public-impact cost of under-protecting highly sensitive data.

This article, reprinted with the permission of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and first published in the Fall 2017 issue of AGA's Journal of Government Financial Management, addresses the importance of adopting effective and efficient data governance practices, addressing the reliability of protected data, and ensuring the proper balance of resources used to maintain and protect data that is not useful.

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