Will big data bring about the end of science as we know it?
At the most recent Aegis Journal Club event, I found myself chatting with two very different people about one very timely topic. The subject of “big data” came up while I was talking to a computer science professor and a pharmaceutical business development manager.
The tech professor understood the IT ramifications of collecting huge data sets: developing novel approaches to capturing, storing, processing, and analyzing data. The pharma expert understood the cost implications of collecting huge data sets: addressing the ever-growing demand for increased computing power and time to support basic drug development and clinical trials.
Technology and cost are intuitive enough; however, the pharma manager asked a question that made me realize how inadequate they are for understanding our relationship with information. “Can you give me some examples of big data?” she asked. She wanted me to distinguish what kinds of projects fall into that category as opposed to the “small data” category. READ MORE