It’s All About Data: Science in the Information Age

Scientists are always interested in data and these days they have floods of it. Just consider that a researcher studying climate has to manage measurements from decades of satellites with different instruments and resolutions and hundreds of years of ground measurements, all totaling millions of data points. How can one person make sense of that much information?

The answer, of course, is computers. A well-designed computer system can provide easy access to a multitude of data formats and data sets, packaging it all into a form useful to the researcher. Setup is critical for such systems, since scientists rely on their accuracy – and the public relies on scientists’ conclusions, especially in fields like climate modeling and weather forecasting.

INNOVIM specializes in designing, creating, and maintaining such data frameworks. And, INNOVIM engineers will tell you. it’s not just about computers and servers. It’s also about knowing the end user and what that user needs to integrate these systems in their work. INNOVIM has done this time and again, working with NASA, NOAA, USGS, and university scientists as well as scientific interest groups to make sure everyone is comfortable working with a certain system architecture. One such example is the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) Data Management System (DMS) for which INNOVIM was a key strategist and which we continue to support. We are helping NOAA and the FAA do something similar right now, designing the next generation data management process that will allow different agencies and organizations to use the same systems for weather forecasting, avoiding costly and confusing overlap.

Without such a mechanism, scientists would only be able to scratch the surface of the wealth of data that has been accumulated over the years – kind of like trying to navigate the internet without Google. And that’s something none of us want to have to try!