IDC Government Insights: Governments Need “Tagged Data Authority Engine” for Cross-Agency Data Assurance and Integrity

FRAMINGHAM, MA. – April 20, 2010 – A research report released today by IDC Government Insights suggests that governments adopt the concept of a "Tagged Data Authority Engine" (TDAE) – a technology framework designed to promote data assurance and data integrity for government agencies and fusion centers when data is shared cross-agency. The TDAE report proposes a solution for a known shortcoming when fusion centers collect multiple data sets from multiple sources.

The report, Introducing the "Tagged Data Authority Engine": Assurance and Data Integrity for Government Agencies and Fusion Centers (Document # GI222672, April 2010), promotes a discussion of how the problem might be solved and what needs to be done to address this challenge in a cross-agency fashion. IDC Government Insights believes that a solution to the data authority issue can be created using existing technologies, and that government organizations (and the vendors serving them) would do well to embrace the TDAE concept to begin to address the situation in a broad way across multiple government agencies. Additionally, IDC Government Insights believes this issue is likely to gain increasing importance as the government expands its use of data fusion centers, shared service centers, and cloud services.

Sets of tagged data that are shared cross-agency, such as XML files and documents, face challenges that are different than locally controlled information. For example, traditional database management systems usually have effective internal mechanisms that deliver capabilities such as data integrity, version control, roll-back, and recoverability. But these controls are extremely difficult to extend to data that is shared with other agencies. IDC Government Insights research shows that the original owner of a data set often loses control of that data and its updates once the data is shared. Meanwhile, fusion centers that collect these data sets may not always know when data has been updated. Increasingly, government fusion centers are looking for ways to enhance and standardize data sharing across multiple agencies. At the same time, information assurance and data quality assurance have become increasingly important to government IT managers.

To help define the problem and its possible solutions, IDC Government Insights proposes the idea of a TDAE – which is essentially the employment of a server that is designed to support automated data cleansing, merging, and updating operations – across multiple networks and domains.

"Currently, without establishing data ownership and a transfer chain for various pieces of tagged data, government agencies and government data fusion centers cannot fully trust the timeliness and accuracy of the data they receive," said Shawn McCarthy, research director, IDC Government Insights. "In matters of national security this can be a serious issue. TDAE proposes a framework for helping to track and confirm who has 'authority' over specific pieces of tagged data, while also providing a way to assure that such data is continually updated."

For additional information about this report, or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with Shawn McCarthy, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-794-3214 or Reports are available to qualified members of the media. For information on purchasing reports, contact; reporters should email

About IDC Government Insights

IDC Government Insights is headquartered in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area in Falls Church, Virginia, with additional offices worldwide. IDC Government Insights is uniquely qualified to track, analyze, and forecast government technology spending based on in-depth government budget and spending analysis globally. Expert analysts examine IT value based on government-defined key result areas; decipher policy and regulatory goals to identify game-changing government strategies and inform critical decision making; survey government decision-makers to determine effectiveness of IT vendors’ go-to-market strategies; along with government-centric metrics and rankings of suppliers’ effectiveness in addressing specific government business problems, all with absolute independence and transparency. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit [], email, or call 703-485-8300.