Originally published: April 19, 2012
Last updated: April 20, 2012 - 12:30am
Federal, state and local governments could learn a thing or two from major Internet companies, using data to improve public benefits such as health care and education, lawmakers said at a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.
Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources Chairman Geoff Davis (R-KY) pointed to companies like Facebook and Google, which base their business on the data they have access to. "It's long past time for the government to use those same sort of tools," he said. In March the White House announced a plan to pour millions of dollars into harnessing the huge amounts of data, from genetic databases to earthquake tracking, collected by government agencies. The "Big Data Research and Development Initiative" will provide more than $200 million "to greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data," the Office of Science and Technology Policy said at the time.
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