Connected People, Devices & Data | The Results of Our Data and Analytics Innovation Forum

Data and Analytics Innovation coverNew technology is all around—fitness trackers count your steps, navigation apps steer you right, and the internet is everywhere. These and other tech trends have resulted in massive volumes of data being generated, stored, and analyzed at unprecedented rates.

What does all this mean for the economy and society? We convened a forum of representatives from industry, government, academia, and nonprofit organizations to discuss just that. This week we released the results of that discussion and today’s WatchBlog gives a glimpse into what was said.

Data can help innovate

Massive volumes of data have created opportunities. For example, a parking app using real-time data can help drivers find spots in cities such as Chicago and San Francisco. This not only reduces drivers’ time—and frustration—but could help with infrastructure planning.

We dubbed this process—innovatively using the results of large-scale data analysis—Data and Analytics Innovation.

Figure: A Twenty-first Century Cycle: Data and Analytics Information(Excerpted from GAO-16-659SP)

Sounds great, right? In fact, forum participants discussed many positive things to come from Data and Analytics Innovation, including larger benefits to the economy and society from innovations in the areas of health care and transportation, among others, as well as job creation.

Privacy, job loss and other concerns

However, participants also raised some concerns, specifically around privacy and job loss. For example, one participant noted that some apps could share your information with as many as 40 or 50 companies—and neither you nor the companies may know the extent to which third parties will share that data with others, now or in the future. In addition, participants discussed what these innovations would mean for people who work in bookkeeping, assembly-lines, and other routine tasks that could be replaced by automation.

Read more about a range of innovations and what they could mean, in the full report of the forum.


  • Questions on the content of this post? Contact our Chief Scientist, Dr. Tim Persons at personst@gao.gov.
  • Comments on GAO’s WatchBlog? Contact blog@gao.gov.
Image | This entry was posted in Information Technology, Science and Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.