If you wonder about how to maximize the benefits of the enormous amount of data now available while minimizing the headaches of managing it, you are not alone. The Economist recently published a special section with several articles on the topic, addressing issues near and dear to the global research community – including storage, computation and visualization. With the data joining the ranks of capital and labor as an ingredient critical to success (in business and in research), how will we train the next generation of scientists, governmental organizations and industry leaders to effectively use the data we’re creating and gathering to propel economic growth? Among others, the articles drew on the expertise of Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, and Alexander Szalay, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University (and a long-time Microsoft Research collaborator). The special section was published in The Economist’s Feb. 25 print and online editions. The various articles provide great perspectives on this situation, and include some intriguing quotes and illustrative charts, so I highly recommend seeking out this thoughtful overview.
Lee Dirks – director for Education and Scholarly Communication, Microsoft Research