Northern Virginia and Potomac region sees itself as nation’s ‘data capital’

BigDataAnalytics The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), the George Washington University and Attain, LLC, released on May 9 a research report conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics which highlights the depth and breadth of Big Data experience, expertise and assets in Northern Virginia and the Potomac region.

The report, Big Data and Analytics in Northern Virginia and the Potomac Region, concludes that the area — dubbed the nation’s data capital — is a natural leader in the evolving field of Big Data and analytics.

With a concentration of data analytics businesses and workers, historic expertise in managing and interpreting data, the educational capacity to train future data scientists and analysts, Big Data-related university research initiatives, and the strong presence of the federal government, the region is well positioned to compete as the leader for market share and seize opportunities presented by the explosive growth of the Big Data and analytics market, says a press release jointly released by the organizations.

“The growth of Big Data and analytics presents a significant opportunity for Northern Virginia and the Potomac region to advance its current leadership position as one of the nation’s premier high-tech centers,” said Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of NVTC.

“As the research indicates, our business and academic communities have the resources to stimulate Big Data and analytics-driven economic development, demonstrate why others should invest or expand in the region, and further develop our region’s Big Data and analytics workforce,” she said.

Based on focus groups with regional technology leaders and a survey of organizations active in the sector, the research showed, among other findings, that:

  • Respondent firms in Northern Virginia alone generate an estimated 717      terabytes of new data during an average day, not counting the vast amounts      of data generated by and flowing through government agencies.
  • Organizations in the region      are putting this data to use for customers and their own internal      projects. Eighty-seven percent of Northern      Virginia respondent firms have ongoing or planned Big Data and analytics      projects.
  • The region’s vibrant and      growing regional Big Data ecosystem is distinguished by domain expertise      in areas such as intelligence/national security, cyber security and      healthcare; high demand for Big Data and analytics services; and strong      intra-regional sales.
  • Big Data and analytics firms      in the region expect average annual employment growth over the next three      years that is three times as fast as average annual forecasts from the      U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for all occupations over the next decade.
  • The region’s higher      education institutions can help drive the competitiveness of the region      and address the national shortfall of Big Data and analytics talent by      producing a disproportionate share of the data analysts and data managers      that businesses nationally require.
  • Seventy percent of      respondent colleges, universities and other educators in the region      already offer, or intend to offer, courses or programs that specifically      target Big Data and analytics by 2015; the percentage increases to 90      percent by 2019.

“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 Attain, LLC, a Vienna, Va.-based strategy, management and technology consulting firm.

“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,” he said.