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The Economist Special Report on Managing Information

Information has gone from scarce to superabundant. That brings huge new benefits but also big headaches says Kenneth Cukierr in The Economist special report on managing information.

The world contains an unimaginably vast amount of digital information which is getting ever vaster ever more rapidly. This makes it possible to do many things that previously could not be done: spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on. Managed well, the data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into science and hold governments to account. But they are also creating a host of new problems. Despite the abundance of tools to capture, process and share all this information’”sensors, computers, mobile phones and the like’”it already exceeds the available storage space (see chart 1). Moreover, ensuring data security and protecting privacy is becoming harder as the information multiplies and is shared ever more widely around the world.

The report consists of 10 articles and an audio report: