‘Big data’ is a big deal for farmers, researchers

A conference based on numbers and data sets may seem like a dry — perhaps boring — topic for a group of professional researchers.

Such was the main topic at the annual research conference April 24 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. And, despite the dismal nature of numbers, no one fell asleep during the event, nor anything of the kind.

Instead, researchers got a fresh update on a topic that will define their work for the foreseeable future: “big data.”

The term is loosely defined, but generally refers to sets of data and numerical findings that are complex, take up a lot of storage space, and that must be cautiously and analytically interpreted.

The use for big data in today’s world are many — preventing and treating disease, making business decisions, protecting national security and making decisions that affect yield and profitability for farmers.

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