Big data is changing the way every industry operates, and healthcare is no exception. The use of big data in healthcare stands to affect everything from healthcare costs to the quality and accuracy of care. It's one of the reasons why careers in big data are booming. According to LinkedIn's 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, the data science field is continuing to grow, and there are even signs that data science roles are replacing or augmenting roles traditionally filled by statisticians. Learn more about how big data stands to solve some of the industry's biggest challenges from two Abbott data engineers, as well as what they see as the critical skills for success as a data engineer. What Is Big Data? Big data refers to the massive amounts of information — think petabytes and exabytes — that an organization creates or consumes every second of the day. What's critical isn't necessarily the amount of data but rather its organization. You can find valuable information within the chaos, such as patterns or trends that may identify a new business opportunity or change the way you're delivering a service. That's where data engineers come in. Data engineers are tasked with organizing data and making it usable for other groups across an organization. That often means creating the systems and processes behind gathering data and making it easy to work with. 'I see big data pairing nicely with advanced analytics,' explains Devin Stompanato, an Abbott data engineer, pictured below. 'It's not just big data, it's big data and advanced analytics. Big data means you have a large set of data. Advanced analytics is what you do with that large set of data.'