The advent of massive data sets and advanced analytical techniques is changing information technology in fundamental ways. In the past, data was used primarily to confirm hypotheses. Increasingly, data is used to generate hypotheses, indicate trends, identify anomalies, and make predictions.
This new paradigm is impacting research in diverse fields and business in diverse industries. The impact is particularly great in energy and environment. This is driven by the proliferation of sensors measuring physical properties, the availability of vast networks of human data, the algorithms to extract information, and the computing power to do this in real time. This is an area where data, tools, and applications are closely linked.