Data Science a Game-changer for Science and Innovation

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TitleData Science a Game-changer for Science and Innovation
Publication TypeUnpublished
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBeltram, F, Giannotti, F, Pedreschi, D
Date Published03/2017
InstitutionG7 Academy

Digital technology is ubiquitous and very much part of public and private organizations and of individuals’ lives. People and things are becoming increasingly interconnected. Smartphones, smart buildings, smart factories, smart cities, autonomous vehicles and other smart environments and devices are filled with digital sensors, all of them creating an abundance of data. Governance and health care collect, generate and use data in an unprecedented quantity. New high- throughput scientific instruments and methods, like telescopes, satellites, accelerators, supercomputers, sensor networks and gene sequencing methods as well as large scale simulations generate massive amounts of data. Often referred to as data deluge, or Big Data, massive datasets revolutionize the way research is carried out, resulting in the emergence of a new, fourth paradigm of science based on data-intensive computing and data driven discovery4. Accordingly, the path to the solution of the problem of sustainable development will lead through Big Data, as maintaining the whole complexity of our modern society, including communication and traffic services, manufacturing, trade and commerce, financial services, health security, science, education and policy making requires this novel approach.
The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with advanced tools of exploratory data analysis, data mining/machine learning, and data visualization, and scalable infrastructures, has produced a spectacular change in the scientific method: all this is Data Science. This paper describes the main issues around Data Science as it will play out in the coming years in science and society. It focus on the scientific, technical and ethical challenges (A), on its role for disruptive innovation for science, industry, policy and people (B), on its scientific, technological and educational challenges (C) and finally, on the quantitative expectations of its economic impact (D). In our work we could count on many reports and studies on the subject, particularly on the BDVA5 and ERCIM6 reports.

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