NSTAC Report to the President on Big Data Analytics   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Big data analytics (BDA) is a collection of techniques that leverage vast and disparate sets of data to extract knowledge. In February 2015, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) tasked the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) with identifying specific recommendations regarding how the greater use of BDA could enhance the Government's national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) capabilities. While national security is segmented into military and non-military aspects, this report focuses on the non-military aspects of national security. In response to the EOP's request, the NSTAC also focused on identifying the applications for BDA within the realm of emergency preparedness, which involves a wide array of threat assessment, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities designed to lessen the impact of natural and man-made disasters. Through an extensive fact-finding and information gathering process, the NSTAC analyzed how BDA can improve the Nation's response to NS/EP events. In order to better conceptualize how BDA could be widely adopted by the Government, the committee first examined specific areas where BDA has already been successfully deployed and is in use today: (1) healthcare; (2) transportation; and (3) city management. The NSTAC found that certain commonalities existed across each of these domains. The committee developed three use cases around which to structure this study: (1) a natural disaster; (2) a man-made disaster; and (3) a cyber attack on critical infrastructure. […] Through this study, the NSTAC discovered recurring themes that present a common set of challenges to discovering, sharing, and utilizing data, particularly with regard to how data should be handled and secured in order to maintain its integrity and protect civil liberties."

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