Report: Nation’s Data Capital Poised to Advance Leadership Position in Big Data

Research Highlights Competitive Advantages of Northern Virginia and Potomac Region as Global Center for Big Data and Analytics

May 09, 2014

Kurtis Hiatt
The George Washington University
[email protected], 202-994-1849

Sarah Jones
Northern Virginia Technology Council
[email protected], 703-904-7878 ext. 207

Evan Weisel
W2 Communications
[email protected], 703-877-8100

Full report available upon request.

WASHINGTON—The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC), the George Washington University (GW), and Attain, LLC, today released a research report conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics highlighting the depth and breadth of big data experience, expertise and assets in Northern Virginia and the Potomac region.

The report “Big Data and Analytics in Northern Virginia and the Potomac Region” concludes that the area—dubbed the nation’s data capital—is a natural leader in the evolving field of big data and analytics. With a concentration of data analytics businesses and workers, historic expertise in managing and interpreting data, the educational capacity to train future data scientists and analysts, big data-related university research initiatives, and the strong presence of the federal government, the region is well-positioned to compete as the leader for market share and seize opportunities presented by the explosive growth of the big data and analytics market.

“The growth of big data and analytics presents a significant opportunity for Northern Virginia and the Potomac region to advance its current leadership position as one of the nation’s premier high-tech centers,” said Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of NVTC.

“As the research indicates, our business and academic communities have the resources to stimulate big data and analytics-driven economic development, demonstrate why others should invest or expand in the region, and further develop our region’s big data and analytics workforce,” she said.

Based on focus groups with regional technology leaders and a survey of organizations active in the sector, the research showed, among other findings, that:

  • Respondent firms in Northern Virginia alone generate an estimated 717 terabytes of new data during an average day, not counting the vast amounts of data generated by and flowing through government agencies.
  • Organizations in the region are putting this data to use for customers and their own internal projects. Eighty-seven percent of Northern Virginia respondent firms have ongoing or planned big data and analytics projects.
  • The region’s vibrant and growing regional big data ecosystem is distinguished by domain expertise in areas such as intelligence/national security, cybersecurity and healthcare; high demand for big data and analytics services; and strong intra-regional sales.
  • Big data and analytics firms in the region expect average annual employment growth over the next three years that is three times as fast as average annual forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for all occupations over the next decade.
  • The region’s higher education institutions can help drive the competitiveness of the region and address the national shortfall of big data and analytics talent by producing a disproportionate share of the data analysts and data managers that businesses nationally require.
  • Seventy percent of respondent colleges, universities and other educators in the region already offer, or intend to offer, courses or programs that specifically target big data and analytics by 2015; the percentage increases to 90 percent by 2019.

“With years of experience in what is still an emerging field, companies in this region are ready to capture an even greater market share within the Big Data and Analytics sector,” said Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO of Attain, LLC, a Vienna, Va.-based strategy, management and technology consulting firm.

“Northern Virginia and the greater Potomac region represent the nation’s data capital, with a heritage of data management and analysis expertise that is coupled with relevant domain knowledge across some of the vertical industries showing the greatest growth potential for big data and analytics-related services,” he said.

“A highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce is the key to increasing the region’s market share in the big data and analytics sector,” said Ali Eskandarian, dean of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus and College of Professional Studies at the George Washington University.

“As educators, we must ensure we capture the opportunities presented by this emerging market by preparing a next generation of the best and brightest data scientists and analysts. At GW, for example, we are making significant investments in big data, particularly with the Computational Biology Institute and the forthcoming genomics and engineering research institutes,” he said.

Today’s report was released at an event at the George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus. Two panels of technology industry and academic leaders discussed the challenges and opportunities for big data technology, applications and analysis, and regional efforts to grow the talent pool to power the area’s big data-related businesses. Participating organizations included: Attain, LLC; Giant Oak, LLC; Google; Hunch Analytics; IBM; SAP; the George Washington University; University of Virginia Data Science Institute; and Zoomdata, Inc.

The Northern Virginia Technology Council
The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) is the membership and trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia. As the largest technology council in the nation, NVTC serves about 1,000 companies and organizations, including businesses from all sectors of the technology industry, service providers, universities, foreign embassies, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Through its member companies, NVTC represents about 300,000 employees in the region. NVTC is recognized as the nation's leader in providing its technology community with networking and educational events; specialized services and benefits; public policy advocacy; branding of its region as a major global technology center; initiatives in targeted business sectors and in the international, entrepreneurship, workforce and education arenas; the Equal Footing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that serves local area youth; and The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC, which mentors new technology entrepreneurs. Visit NVTC at

The George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus
The GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus, established in Loudoun County in 1991, is a robust center for innovative research, graduate education and regional corporate partnerships. As the university's science and technology campus, it hosts 17 laboratories and institutes in critical areas such as computational biology, energy science and technology, transportation safety and high performance computing. The GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus also combines its research excellence with more than 15 exceptional graduate degree and certificate programs in business, education, and engineering and unique undergraduate programs in the health sciences. GW has been educating Virginians for more than 50 years, beginning in Hampton Roads in 1958 and expanding its service across the Commonwealth, notably in Arlington, Alexandria and Ashburn. Learn more at

Attain, LLC
Based in Vienna, Va., Attain is a leading management, technology and strategy consulting firm comprised of innovative problem solvers who deliver tangible results to address today’s complex public sector, health, and higher education challenges. Attain’s transformative business and IT solutions and services deliver market-leading results to our customers in the defense, civilian, and federal health markets, as well as the higher education, academic medical center and non-profit communities. With a nationwide presence, Attain is an agile company with the experience to scale our solutions and services to meet your needs. Learn more at