Thursday - Sep 21, 2017

Big Data and Bioinformatics: A Match Made In Heaven


Big Data has made significant inroads into various sub-domains of bio informatics. The buzzwords such as medical informatics, sensor informatics and imaging informatics, are advanced data technologies, and outcomes of Big Data applications. Here is a post that talks about the various applications of Big Data in the field of Bioinformatics and career advice regarding learning various Big data skills.

Big Data is one of the most talked about buzzwords of the current times. Its effects and applications are far-reaching and it is guessed that in the near future, almost every aspect of our life will be affected by big data.  There are some areas where big data is already making a lot of difference and bio informatics is one of them.  Big data analytics makes us capable of decoding completing DNA strings in no time at all.  Big data is omnipresent and its influence will continue to grow. Big data volumes are increasing by the day with the increasing public health records at government health centers or hospitals. The major goal of big data analytics is to enhance the clinical process and provide more efficient medical care.

Here are some of the major applications of big data and analytics in bioinformatics:

  • Sensor Informatics

There has been more emphasis on preventive healthcare in the recent times than any time before. Recent advancements in big data technologies in bioinformatics have provided a boost to technology-aided diagnostics and disease prevention.  These advancements include novel sensor designs which take into consideration aesthetics, usability and ergonomics issues.  Smartphones, the ubiquitous device that everyone is using come equipped with self-tracking sensors like heartbeat monitor and others that also measure the physical, emotional, metabolic and other vital signs of the human body. The data collected from these sensors is collected, verified, analyzed and visualized by data scientists.

  • Application of Big Data in Clinical Environment

The huge potential offered by big data technologies has helped clinical and biomedical research gain tremendous leaps over the past couple of years. Chunks of knowledge that remained unknown till now owing to lack of advanced technology is now being used to make progresses and path-breaking discoveries in clinical research. The aim of this entire data discovery is to make the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of any type of disease a quick, precise and easy process.

For those interested to make their career in life sciences, statistics, computer science and statistics, the job outlook couldn’t be better. All the major pharma companies, in addition to software companies that work in the big data domain are clamoring for attention of professionals who have experience in bioinformatics and mining, compilation, analysis and visualization of large amount of biological data.

A discussion about Big Data Skills in Bioinformatics

Ask any experienced professional or a career expert and you will know that the most successful bioinformaticists are those who have a multitude of skills. Once you have gained complete knowledge of life sciences and expertise in core areas like   cellular biology, immunology, genetics, and epidemiology it is imperative for any motivated and passionate life scientist to acquire additional big data skills.  Text mining, machine learning, data interpretation, data integration and information architecture are some of the most vital big data skills that you must know in order to be considered for a top job in this sector.

Big data careers are the best paid in the healthcare industry and hence, as a candidate, you must exhibit a level of superior quantitative ability, which is a notch above what others show. Core programming skills like C++, Java, and scripting languages like PERL or Python are much sought after. It is important to know how to navigate operating systems such as Linux or UNIX, plus an understanding of Hadoop and NoSQL database is also vital. A major part of your role will include visualizing data and building effective user interface, and experience in the same is actually quite attractive for your job prospects.

How to Land the Big Data Jobs?

With the kind of bioinformatics jobs out there in the market, it is easy to deduce that most employers are actively seeking candidates for big data positions. However, there is demand-supply gap and more often than not recruiters hire on the basis of the immediate needs of the team or the project. If you happen to lack a specified skill doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply anyway. At least, you must undergo continuous training to make sure you have the latest skills for your industry. Still, nothing beat experience. In absence of a proper job, pursuing an industrial postdoc or internship might do you great favors for your career prospects.

The field of bioinformatics is going to evolve in the near future. The bottom line is there are 100% more job opportunities in bioinformatics, driven by the enhanced interest of venture capital investment.

Author Bio-

Saurabh Tyagi is a blogger and a professional career author with proven expertise in writing for topics related to jobs, job trends, different job opportunities, various workplace and industry information, tips and strategies for job seekers.