What is Big Data?

Biomedical Big Data is  more than just very large data or a large number of data sources. Big Data refers to the complexity, challenges, and new opportunities presented by the combined analysis of data. In biomedical research, these data sources include the diverse, complex, disorganized, massive, and multimodal data being generated by researchers, hospitals, and mobile devices around the world.

Biomedical Big Data is  diverse and complex. It includes imaging, phenotypic, molecular, exposure, health, behavioral, and many other types of data. These data could be used to discover new drugs or to determine the genetic and environmental causes of human disease.

Biomedical Big Data  faces many challenges.  The unwieldy amount of information, lack of organization and access to data and tools, and insufficient training in data science methods make it difficult for Big Data’s full power to be harnessed.

Biomedical Big Data  provides spectacular opportunities. Big Data methods allow researchers to maximize the potential of existing data and enable new directions for research. Biomedical Big Data can increase accuracy and supports the development of precision methods for healthcare.

The Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program aims to help the biomedical research community to benefit from the potential of Big Data. BD2K enables the use of biomedical Big Data to advance human health through the creation, indexing, and dissemination of methods, tools, and training materials.


This page last reviewed on September 5, 2018