Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I discuss the Ozone Widget Framework, a powerful visualization tool for intelligence analysts, and its significance in the open-source space of the United States government. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction.

With the excitement over “Big Data” everywhere, much of the discussion has focused on analytics–using data “facts” to derive interesting conclusions about your areas of interest. The attention has been on sophisticated algorithms and the technologies that implement them on the back end. Even if you don’t quite know what they mean, funny words like Hadoop and Mongo have become common parlance in the Big Data space.

As complex as these algorithms and technologies can be, they only tell half the story. Eventually humans need to consume the results of analytics. This means visualizations on the front end are just as essential to harnessing Big Data. As we’ve seen with COTS products like Tableau and open-source products and tools like Gephi and D3, interest in cool visualizations to supplement cool analytics continues to grow.

Long a proponent of Big Data analytics, the intelligence community also recognizes the role visualizations play in helping analysts make the critical decisions necessary to safeguard national security and to empower the warfighter. To that end, the community has worked with private contractors and the GOSS Board to build and open-source the Ozone Widget Framework (OWF).

You can read the rest of the column here.