"Big Data" and Analytics in Government

Improving Government Effectiveness
Location: Independence Ballroom A Level:

Most government agencies extract relatively little of the insight potentially available in their data, typically using pre-defined reports and backward-looking summarization techniques. The scale of these data sets, in many cases in the Petabyte to Terabyte range, creates quite a challenge in computational and storage scale for the systems that would perform analytics intended to extract the actionable insights. For example, during the financial crisis, there was a great interest in how valuations of certain structured securities could be done by “drilling down” to the atomic elements of the portfolio. In one case for mortgage-backed securities, this computation, if done in real-time, would have required a top-100-level supercomputer.

Government agencies, notably the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, have established an impressive track record of leading in the development of high-performance computing (HPC), including computational scale, storage, and visualization. Many government missions literally would not be executable without the application of HPC, such as weather modeling, climate modeling and nuclear stockpile stewardship.

A clear direction for progress is to exploit the leadership of agencies such as DoE and NSF to extend the reach of HPC from the technical/physics domain into the broader world of analytics to create insights from large-scale government-owned data sets that underly fields such as agriculture, medicine, water management, and healthcare just to name a few.

Photo of David McQueeney

David McQueeney

IBM Federal

Dave McQueeney is the chief technology officer for IBM’s US federal
government unit. His team works with IBM’s federal clients and IBM’s
federal system integrator partners to provide technical leadership
across the domain of enterprise systems technology and architecture.

McQueeney’s background covers a wide range of disciplines ranging from
solid state physics, to high-speed interconnect design, to distributed
software development tools, to government-specific industry solutions.
He has spent half of his career as a researcher and research executive,
and half in IBM’s customer-facing units including global sales and
distribution, acting as the global government solutions general manager
and leader of the Federal Systems Integration services unit.

Prior to joining IBM’s Federal team, McQueeney led the IBM global
services intellectual property and global competencies team. He
developed and deployed the business and technical strategies,
methodologies, professions, and intellectual property licensing
strategies that maximized the creation of business value for IBM’s

Throughout his career, McQueeney has driven strong connections between
IBM research and the other units of IBM, most recently IBM global
services. He was recognized by Consulting Magazine as one of the top 25
consultants for 2002, citing his work to make the innovations of IBM
research directly available to customers via IBM’s Business Consulting

He has held a number of significant positions in IBM research, including
director of the IBM Zurich research laboratory, vice president of
communication technology, and vice president of technical strategy and
worldwide operations.

McQueeney has published a wide range of papers ranging from liquid
helium physics, advanced electronic packaging, high-speed interconnects,
and the evolution of research in the commercial environment.

He began at IBM in the research division in 1988. McQueeney earned an
M.S. and Ph.D. in solid-state physics from Cornell University, and an
A.B. in physics from Dartmouth College.

McQueeney was recognized as one of the “Fed 100” top leaders in the
federal community for 2006 by Federal Computer Week magazine.

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