Berkeley Group Digs In to Challenge of Making Sense of All That Data

April 7, 2012                                             New York Times/The Bay Citizen

It comes in “torrents” and “floods” and threatens to “engulf” everything that stands in its path.

 No, it is not a tsunami, it is Big Data, the incomprehensibly large amount of raw, often real-time data that keeps piling up faster and faster from scientific research, social media, smartphones — virtually any activity that leaves a digital trace. 

The sheer size of the pile (measured in petabytes, one million gigabytes, or even exabytes, one billion gigabytes) combined with its complexity has threatened to overwhelm just about everybody, including the scientists who specialize in wrangling it. 

“It’s easier to collect data,” said Michael Franklin, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, “and harder to make sense of it.” (more)


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