U.S. government agencies gradually have been getting a handle on utilizing the potential of big data and data analytics. At the same time, the Obama administration has recognized that significantly more investment will be required for federal big data research in order to guide agencies toward maximizing the value of processing huge chunks of data and improving their data analysis capabilities. During the past 12 to 24 months, federal agencies "have significantly changed the status quo," noted IDC Research Director Adelaide O'Brien.