Realizing the Promise of Big Data

Professor Desouza provides a clear and useful introduction to the concept of big data, which is receiving increasing attention as a term but also lacks a commonly understood definition. In describing big data, Desouza writes, “Big data is an evolving concept that refers to the growth of data and how it is used to optimize business processes, create customer value, and mitigate risks.” Desouza also describes the differences in the use of big data in the public and private sectors. Using Competitions and Awards to Spur Innovation

One new approach is the use of challenges, which use “crowdsourcing” to canvass solution approaches for particular problems. Challenges open up new avenues for connecting people who have innovative ideas to people in government who can implement these ideas. A recent IBM Center report, Managing Innovation Prizes in Government by Luciano Kay, examined various models pioneered in the private sector to connect innovators with ideas to businesses looking to solve problems. This report by Dr.


Professor, Business, Technology and Strategy
QUT Business School
Kevin C. Desouza is a Professor of Business, Technology and Strategy at QUT Business School. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and a Salzburg Global Forum Fellow. He formerly held tenured faculty posts at Arizona State University, Virginia Tech and the University of Washington and has held visiting appointments at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Università Bocconi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Ljubljana. Desouza has authored, co-authored, and/or edited ten books. He has published more than 150 articles in journals across a range of disciplines including information systems, information science, public administration, political science, technology management, and urban affairs. Several outlets have featured his work including Sloan Management Review, Stanford Social Innovation Research, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Businessweek, Wired, Governing,, Wall Street Journal, BBC, USA Today, NPR, PBS, and Computerworld. Desouza has authored several reports for the IBM Center for The Business of Government, Pathways to Trusted Progress with Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology for Response and Recovery: An International Dialogue, Artificial Intelligence in the Public Sector: A Maturity Model, Delivering Artificial Intelligence in Government: Challenges and Opportunities, Creating a Balanced Portfolio of Information Technology Metrics, Using Competitions and Awards to Spur Innovation, and Realizing the Promise of Big Data, .