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Three Tips for Choosing the Best Situational Awareness Vendor for Your Government Agency

In our last post, Darryn Graham, Chief Architect at Software AG Government Solutions, spoke with ModernGov about situational awareness.  He explained what it entails, and outlined how it can help government agencies make better decisions in support of their missions. As Graham mentioned, situational awareness insights are gained from fusing and analyzing data.

In this post, Graham shares his tips for choosing a company that can provide an effective situational awareness solution for an agency.

ModernGov: What are three tips that an agency should keep in mind when choosing a vendor to help them create an effective situational awareness solution?

Darryn Graham: My three tips are as follows:

Tip 1: Real-time Access to Data:
Don’t make decisions influenced by old data.  You wouldn’t dress solely according to the temperature for this day one year ago.  So why wait for periodic data synchronization from a system of record into a data warehouse?  If your understanding of a situation is based on data from the past, your decisions will suffer.

Tip 2: Ensure Visualization Matches the Data:
It is not just about a pretty picture.  You need visualizations that are appropriate to the type of data with which you will be working.  For example, geospatial data requires a completely different visualization approach than unstructured text.  Be sure your vendor can demonstrate support for the variety of data that you will be visualizing.

Tip 3: Analytics Capabilities:
Ensure that the vendor actually provides some analytics to help you interpret the data – not just the ability to plug in these capabilities.  It is not enough to simply ingest and display the data; the tools should help make sense of it too.

If you missed our interview with Graham about what situational awareness is and how government agencies can use it effectively, you can read it here. And don’t forget to subscribe via the link in the right sidebar to receive updates on new posts featuring insights on cyber security, big data visualization, business process development, open data, systems integration and other government IT issues.

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