National Physical Laboratory

Insights magazine: A revolution founded on measurement science

In the latest issue of Insights magazine Prof John Bancroft, Director of NPL North of England, highlights the importance of measurement science in realising the potential of the big data revolution.


Data collection is growing rapidly in all avenues of our lives, from personal fitness trackers, to home environment monitors, to satellites and particle accelerators. This growing flood of data has immense potential for revealing insights about our lives, our health, our societies and the natural world.

But the potential of big data will only be harnessed if the data gathered is reliable and accurate. The new generation of data systems, while sophisticated, often can't judge the quality of the data they're collecting. Once a measurement has moved through a sensor into a dataset, quality may be assumed, rather than proven.

As a leading centre for measurement science, NPL will play a critical role in ensuring data quality, through setting measurement standards and through working with academic and industrial partners to overcome measurement challenges. In the coming big data revolution, NPL's expertise will be vital for ensuring that users of big data can be confident in the conclusions they draw and the decisions they make.

Read Prof John Bancroft's article in the latest issue of Insights magazine

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Last Updated: 13 Jun 2016
Created: 13 Jun 2016


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