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Making the case for continuous evaluation: How Big Data has shifted the paradigm

Aaron Kilinski

Every day citizens put their faith and trust in the decisions that government programs make about identities (security clearances, border crossings, benefits and credentials). However, these decisions may not be as trustworthy as you think, because they are often not based upon current and validated information. This lack of information awareness has been accentuated by the onset of Big Data (the dramatic increase in data volumes, sources, types and velocity), which increases the risk of an undetected change in a person’s identity profile.

For instance, would you know that an applicant that your organization approved a year ago is still eligible today?  No. You likely only know that they were eligible a year ago. In fact, the validity of the previous decision may have changed the day after you made it. To know if your previous decisions are still valid today, you need to re-evaluate them based upon today’s current information.

We all know that a person’s background (visa/immigration status, criminal history, financial history, etc.) changes over time. So, why do so many government programs allow continuous program participation, when they don’t know if the individuals are still eligible to participate?  Answer: “That is how we have always done it.”

In the age of Big Data, the paradigm has changed beneath our feet. Not only has the velocity of data changed, but the number of sources, variety and types of data have also grown exponentially. This makes it even harder to be confident that all of the available information to make the right decision, regarding risk, threats and eligibility for a person has been used.  

However, there are new data processing technologies that enable real-time data analysis and decision support. By combining automated data analytics with the ever-expanding sources of information, the risk of undetected changes in a person’s identity profile can be reduced through continuous monitoring and evaluation (Continuous Evaluation). Continuous Evaluation essentially enables the real-time cognitive analysis of multiple sources of identity information to re-evaluate previous decisions, based upon current information. That can also be called a trusted identity decision. 

Why is this important? Because as citizens and tax payers, we entrust and ultimately expect our government to make the right decisions on our behalf.   

Aaron Kilinski is the vice president of strategy and solutions at InfoZen Inc. He can be reached at:

[email protected]


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