Genomics is a Big Data science and is going to get much bigger, very soon, but it is not known whether the needs of genomics will exceed other Big Data domains. Projecting to the year 2025, we compared genomics with three other major generators of Big Data: astronomy, YouTube, and Twitter. Our estimates show that genomics is a “four-headed beast”—it is either on par with or the most demanding of the domains analyzed here in terms of data acquisition, storage, distribution, and analysis. We discuss aspects of new technologies that will need to be developed to rise up and meet the computational challenges that genomics poses for the near future. Now is the time for concerted, communitywide planning for the “genomical” challenges of the next decade.
Stephens, Z. D., Lee, S. Y., Faghri, F., Campbell, R. H., Zhai, C., Efron, M. J., … Robinson, G. E. (2015). Big data: Astronomical or genomical? PLoS Biology, 13(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002195