Trends from the Trenches

Tony Kerlavage on Data Lakes, Data Commons, and Empowering the Research of the Future

February 21, 2022 Bio-IT World Season 1 Episode 1
Trends from the Trenches
Tony Kerlavage on Data Lakes, Data Commons, and Empowering the Research of the Future
Show Notes

At the National Cancer Institute, Tony Kerlavage knows quite a bit about managing very large pools of data. When NCI launched the Genomic Data Commons, it aimed to democratize access to the genomic data in The Cancer Genome Atlas and other sources. Since then, though, Kerlavage points out that our data types and volumes have only grown. Now NCI is taking a “Commons of Commons” approach to link pools of well-structured data. “The more data we can bring together in a well-structured way, the more value it has in the long run,” he believes. He advocates for sharable Python notebooks and reusable R programming, believing significant investments in data hygiene and interoperability delivers more value than simply mining data lakes with artificial intelligence tools—for now, at least. The challenge for researchers, Kerlavage says, is to view their work with an eye to the future: How might someone else use this data going forward? 

Links from this episode:  
Bio-IT World
BioTeam
NCI Launches Genomic Data Commons
Bob Grossman’s Vision of the Commons of Commons
BioTeam’s Approach to Collaborative Dictionary Authoring 

Trends from the Trenches boiler: Bio-IT World’s Trends from the Trenches podcast delivers your insider’s look at the science, technology, and executive trends driving the life sciences through conversations with industry leaders. BioTeam co-founder Stan Gloss brings years of industry experience in science, data, and technology to conversations exploring what is driving data and discovery, and what’s coming next.