Continued advances in detector and instrumentation technology, computing capabilities and storage capacities result in a steady and exponential growth of the sheer volume of information produced by modern astronomical facilities, while the policy of "open data" traditionally adopted by the astronomical community not only provides researchers with a wealth of valuable observational material, but also requires scientists working in the field to keep abreast of developments in the field of data science itself.
Key challenges in this new era of astronomy include questions of access to heterogeneous data sets, both observational and model, for interdisciplinary and cross-thematic research; transfer, reduction and archival of large volumes of data; parallelization and scalability of algorithms for processing, searching and analysis.
Possible solutions in overcoming these obstacles can be found in various aspects of cloud technology; techniques for writing scalable algorithms; shared access to computational facilities; increasing exchange and engagement of data mining specialists from industry.
Each of the BRICS countries have differing and complementary proficiencies and expertise with respect to astronomical data sets and computing. One of the main goals of this workshop is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and experience among members of the BRICS astronomical community.