Big Data Analytics: The Case of Social Security Administration
Information Policy, Vol. 19, pp. 165-178, 2014
17 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2016
Date Written: May 17, 2014
Public agencies are investing significant resources in big data analytics to mine valuable information, predict future outcomes, and make data-driven decisions. In order to foster a strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the adoption of big data analytics in the public sphere, we analyze various efforts undertaken by the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA, which is commonly referred to as the ‘face of the government,’ collects, manages, and curates large volumes of data to provide social security services to US citizens and beneficiaries living abroad. The agency has made great strides in the burgeoning big data space to improve administration and delivery of services. This has included: (1) improving their arcane legacy system, (2) developing employee and end-user capability, (3) implementing data management strategies and organizational architecture, (4) managing security and privacy issues, and (5) advocating for increased investment in big data analytics. Despite these efforts, the SSA is still in the early stages of developing capability in the domain of big data analytics. By outlining challenges and opportunities faced the SSA, we discuss policy implications and explore issues to consider when public agencies begin to develop the capacity to analyze big data.
Keywords: Big Data, Social Security Administration, Data Governance, Innovation, Information Technologies, Information Systems, Transparency
JEL Classification: O33, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation