Today, data is abundant, but federal agencies still have challenges when it comes to data accessibility. According to a recent federal Chief Data Officer survey by The Data Foundation, only 25 percent of Chief Data Officers say they have the needed resources to perform successfully in their jobs. As Nitin Vengurlekar, Chief Technology Strategist, Oracle Public Sector said, “data is the new gold or oil.” And since data is so valuable, federal agencies need to find ways to gain access and limit constraints for greater data visibility and usability. To help overcome these challenges, agencies might consider how autonomous tools can help.
Through machine learning capabilities, autonomous databases are cloud-based applications that automate routine tasks that are traditionally performed by database administrators (DBA) and include data loading, database tuning, security, backups, and updates.
Oracle’s autonomous database is available to help state and local government, and education agencies facilitate an easier, more secure approach to data management. Oracle’s autonomous database is currently being audited for FedRAMP-High authorization and should be available in the Government Regions as soon as that is completed.
Autonomous systems aren’t new, but the requirement for automation became demonstrably clear during the COVID-19 pandemic when agencies were faced with the need to produce rapid new services in the face of complex challenges and constraints. One county government integrated an autonomous database at the beginning of the pandemic to assist tracking and managing patient testing data. Data security and privacy were paramount here – and the county decided that an autonomous database approach best addressed mission security and scalability requirements. The county also benefited from the speed at which the cloud-based system was stood up and delivered results.
“The autonomous element handled all the operational overhead and heavy lifting around the basic capabilities,” Vengurlekar said, “freeing us to ensure the data model was solid, security was in place, and the patient testing system was fit to the constantly changing COVID testing logistics.” Without the use of the autonomous database, the county’s DBAs would have been responsible for dozens of overwhelming tasks, delaying the rollout of the Covid Testing and Vaccine System. With automation, the DBAs were able to focus on delivering mission results and overall data management.
As agencies continue to become more data-driven and as the mission becomes more complex, autonomous databases offer a variety of advantages for federal, state, and local government agencies. In short, data management overall becomes less complicated and more secure — allowing DBAs to focus on more high-value agency requirements.