Big Data and Analytics for Infectious Disease Research, Operations, and Policy: Proceedings of a Workshop


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

With the amount of data in the world exploding, big data could generate significant value in the field of infectious disease. The Forum on Microbial Threats determined that the broader applications and implications of big data in these areas ought to be explored, where “big data” refers to any voluminous amount of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data that has the potential to be mined for insights and information. The Forum convened this workshop to explore some of the opportunities and issues associated with the scientific, policy, and operational aspects of big data in relation to microbial threats and public health. The workshop was organized by an ad hoc committee and featured invited presentations and discussions that explored a number of topics, including preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats using big data and related analytics; varieties of data (including demographic, geospatial, behavioral, syndromic, and laboratory) and their broader applications; means to improve their collection, processing, utility, and validation; and approaches that can be learned from other sectors to inform big data strategies for infectious disease research, operations, and policy. This workshop proceedings is a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop.