By now, most people are aware that almost every field is becoming more reliant on data analysis for advancement. Where science used to rely primarily on theoretical models built from few observations, the future seems to be in the collection and mining of millions of measurements; where retail companies relied heavily on the insights of "trend spotters," many now believe that what they should be selling is buried somewhere in the piles of collected data.
Rather than independently building ever-larger data sets at great expense, I believe the future lies in taking advantage of the piles of data that have been generated by others, combining it and mixing it with our own data. Whether it comes from within our own organizations, nonprofit largesse, or the public domain, there is a lot of money to be saved and made by reusing and connecting data. Hopefully this essay has inspired you to find better ways to do just that.