Big Data: Empowering Health


Data Science in Nursing

Big Data, data science, and precision medicine/health research priorities and initiatives are permeating nursing and health care ( The predictable seeds for Big Data, which are characterized by data volume, variability, veracity, velocity, and variety, were planted by the “information explosion” (a term first used 70 years ago in 1941, Oxford English Dictionary). Although the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has consistently recognized the power of Big Data to advance human health and disease, the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K; was launched to address the lack of appropriate tools, poor data accessibility, and insufficient training to do so. The BD2K complements the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) initiative ( launched in the early 2000s to build a national network of health research institutions. In addition, the BD2K initiative addresses the need to improve team science and collaboration and tackle systemwide scientific and operational problems to improve the translational research process to get more treatments to more patients more quickly. These programs are enhanced by the 2015 Precision Medicine Initiative ( emphasizing the biological, environmental, and behavioral influences on diseases and individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person.