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Advancing data-intensive research in Australia

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First Image of a Black Hole in the centre of Messier 87 and its shadow. Taken by The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Source: EHT Collaboration.

At the eResearch Australasia Conference in October, the Australian Academy of Science has released a new report: Advancing data-intensive research in Australia. The report presents the findings from consultations with the research community on the challenges and opportunities of data-intensive research.

The report states that while data has always been central to scientific research, advances in data collection, computation, communications and storage technologies have increased the volume and types of data available for research.

Along with advances in data analytics and the emergence of the new discipline of data science, data developments are impacting all fields of science and technology. Indeed, most research has become ‘data-intensive’.

New data technologies are enabling research that was not previously possible, such as modelling the COVID-19 pandemic and creating vaccines in record time, and recording the first image of a black hole in the universe.

The report makes recommendations for steps that can be taken to improve Australia’s research systems so that we can fully exploit data-intensive research. The recommendations include developing a coherent and strategic approach to the next phase of investment in infrastructure enabling data science. Other recommendations include the adoption of coherent and integrated research data policies and practice covering data for research and data from research; upskilling the research work force in data skills and ‘savviness’, and targeted investment in underpinning research enabling data science.

AARNet, as a critical research infrastructure provider, supports the report’s goal of facilitating co-ordinated response by the entire Australian research system to advance data-intensive research.

Read the full report

Image: First Image of a Black Hole in the centre of Messier 87 and its shadow. Captured by The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Source: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.


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