N – Nature looks at big data

Marking the 10th anniversary of Google, the 4 September issue of Nature focused on big data sets: “As an increasing number of research disciplines are discovering, the vast amounts of data are presenting fresh challenges that urgently need to be addressed.” Articles in the issue look at managing petabytes of data, analysis of complex datasets, online community collaborations, and sophisticated techniques for visualisation. “The future of science depends [on] cleverness again being applied to data for their own sake, complementing scientific hypotheses as a basis for exploring today’s information cornucopia,” an editorial concluded. (Nature 2008;455:1)