I found the following very interesting quote describing a typical data-science application workflow:

Data science applications revolve around the following paradigm:

Until (tired) {
  Data management
  Complex analytics

Note the usage of tired in the above construct. There is a lot of truth in this – while working with data in either the data-management of analytics side, there is a lot of tedium that one must deal with. There are many obstacles in the path of getting insights from data e.g. data-format variabilities, software library inconsistencies, naming inconsistencies in the data etc. A lot of energy is spent in this phase – naturally, there are significant economic implications for the “tired”-ness syndrome.

One of the projects at our company where we are trying to alleviate the tired-ness of data-scientists is the Insight project. Here, we harmonize data from hundreds of clinical trials (public and private) so that scientists can dive in directly into the analysis that they care about. Currently one of the top-five pharma companies in the world is using the API and UI-s of the Insight project.

PS: The quote is from an article by Michael Stonebraker, Samuel Madden and Timothy Mattson (with their experience in the world of data, they should know). The article covered the achievements of the ISTC big-data group at MIT in the last five years. Our company’s database SciDB originated from this project, and is listed as one of the major achievements of the group.