Capital region backs claim as big data leader

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Often touted as a leading U.S. big data hub, the Northern Virginia and Potomac region outside of Washington, D.C., now has some evidence to back up its claims of dominance.

Citing a historically well-rounded IT ecosystem, a new study published by the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the George Washington University and Attain, LLC claims the Northern Virginia and Potomac region is a “natural leader” when it comes to big data and analytics.

With the presence of the federal government, many large data analytics companies and a cluster of top universities pursuing innovative IT efforts, the report — “Big Data and Analytics in Northern Virginia and the Potomac Region” — concludes the area’s favorable position in the industry will continue to grow.

“With years of experience in what is still an emerging field, companies in this region are ready to capture an even greater market share within the big data and analytics sector,” said Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO of Northern Virginia-based Attain, LLC. “Northern Virginia and the greater Potomac region represent the nation’s data capital, with a heritage of data management and analysis expertise that is coupled with relevant domain knowledge across some of the vertical industries showing the greatest growth potential for big data and analytics related services.”

The publishing organizations hired Chmura Economics & Analytics to conduct focus group-based research on areas in which the region excels. Of particular interest, they found that respondent companies generate 717 terabytes of new data during an average day, not including the federal government. Also, 87 percent of participating firms said they are working on big data projects, many of which focus on the national security, cybersecurity and health care industries, and they plan to keep growing those efforts three times faster than the national average.

It also doesn’t hurt that 70 percent of respondent colleges in the region already offer coursework on big data, and by 2019, that number should grow to 90 percent.

“A highly skilled workforce is the key to increasing the region’s market share in the big data and analytics sector,” said Ali Eskandarian, dean of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus and College of Professional Studies at The George Washington University. “As educators, we must ensure we capture the opportunities presented by this emerging market by preparing a next generation of the best and brightest data scientists and analysts.”

The report was released today at an event on The George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus, during which two different panels discussed the state of big data.

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big data, data analytics, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Tech
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