Bioinformatics is populated by a disparate group of specialistsmathematicians, statisticians, biologists, fellows, pharmaceutical scientists, marketers, programmers, clinicians, forensic scientists, and public health officialseach of whom has different needs, work styles, vocabularies, and focus. For example, clinicians may be primarily interested in visualization tools, whereas statisticians may be focused on statistical analysis tools and large samples of data.
As many biotech firms have discovered, it's virtually impossible for one application to fulfill every need to everyone's satisfaction. However, networks provide the glue and, with the Web and other interfaces, veneers that can be used to make a suite of tools appear and work as one. With the appropriate network technology, professionals of all disciplines can work on data and share their findings in a way that matches their mental model of the workspace and promotes efficient use of R&D resources.