Improving Big Data Integration and Building a Data Culture for U.S. Border Security

  • Stephen Coulthart
  • Ryan Riccucci
| Mar. 25, 2021

The potential impact of big data for border security is, in a word, transformative. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not leverage much of the large volume of data it collects. If CBP could better integrate these data into operations, it would speed up cross-border trade by helping authorities identify the most at-risk travelers and cargo. Big data can also help policymakers better understand the extent to which the border is secure and improve the allocation of enforcement resources.

Significant barriers remain for CBP to leverage big data, such as information sharing barriers between operational components as well as safeguarding data from breaches. These barriers are caused by a variety of factors. Like much of the U.S. government, CBP has struggled to develop a data culture receptive to changes brought on by the information technology revolution and has significant issues with its data governance standards, technology acquisition, and human capital development processes. This article explores these issues and offers recommendations to address these and other barriers to unlock the potential of big data for U.S. border security.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Coulthart, Stephen and Ryan Riccucci . “Improving Big Data Integration and Building a Data Culture for U.S. Border Security.” Edited by Nate Bruggeman. Paper, March 25, 2021.

The Authors