Till a few decades ago, science was largely the product of three interrelated paradigms: experimental, theoretical, and computational. The advent of the Internet and computing massively expanded the capacity to collect, store, and share data. As a result, the speed of data generation has accelerated to such an extent that scientific data output is increasing at an annual rate of 30% and is doubling in size every two years. This influx of data is described as “big data.”
Big data, also described as data deluge or tsunami, comprises of all data that arises from the Internet, smartphones, scientific studies, businesses, governments, and other sources. Academia has welcomed this data flood as it has opened several avenues for scientific exploration. In fact, big data is being considered by many as another paradigm of science that is based on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data.