The quantity of information in the world is soaring. Merely keeping up with, and storing new information is difficult enough. Analyzing it, to spot patterns and extract useful information, is harder still. Even so, this data deluge has great potential for good—as long as consumers, companies, and governments make the right choices about when to restrict the flow of data, and when to encourage it. Find out more.
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business to science, from government to the arts. Scientists and computer engineers have coined a new term for the phenomenon: big data . Epistemologically speaking, information is made up of a collection of data and knowledge is made up of different strands of information. But this special report uses data and information interchangeably because, as it will argue, the two are increasingly difficult to tell apart. Given enough raw data, today's algorithms and powerful computers can reveal new