Along with another 1,500 delegates, I attended the Bio-IT World Conference and Expo Europe (http://www.bio-itworldexpoeurope.com/) in Hanover earlier this month (5th – 7th October 2010). The themes were varied, and ranged from next generation sequencing data management, to discussions around collaborative software, standards & web technologies, to one of the main issues facing pharmaceutical and healthcare companies these days – the thorny problems around data integration and knowledge management.
The underlying difficulties are very similar – we are generating more data, from a wider set of technologies, than ever before, and we need productive tools, technologies and strategies to handle this deluge of data, and get the best value from it all.
Obviously, from BioWisdom’s point of view, integration of data to provide intelligence for drug discovery is close to our hearts, and we presented a poster “The Power of Metadata” showing some of the approaches we are developing. Key concept metadata (semantics, synonyms and taxonomies around healthcare concepts) and assertional metadata (how these concepts interact) provide a basis for translation and harmonisation of data across systems, allowing scientists to search, view and analyse intelligence.