The Internet transformed the economics of communication. Then other technologies, like the Web, were built on top of the Internet, which has become a platform for innovation and new businesses. Similarly big data, though still a young technology, is transforming the economics of discovery—becoming a platform, if you will, for human decision making.
The sentences are extracted from chapter one "How big is big data" of the book DATA-ISM by Steve Lohr. (The full text can be read on the following webpage: https://archive.org/stream/DataIsm-SteveLohr9780062226815/Data-Ism_%20The%20Revolution%20Transforming%20Deci%20-%20Steve%20Lohr_djvu.txt)
According to Macmillan Dictionary, there are two meanings for "economics": 1. the study of the way that goods and services are produced and sold and the way money is managed. 2. the conditions that affect the economic success or failure of a product, company, country etc (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/economics)
And the word "discovery" has 4 meanings: 1. the process of learning something that was not known before, or of finding someone or something that was missing or hidden 2. something that is found, or something new that is learned 3.someone whose ability is recognized by another person who helps them to become famous 4. the process of making evidence and other documents available to the people involved in a legal case (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/discovery)
Even if I looked up all the meanings in the dictionary, I just can't understand what the author intend to say. In addition, I googled the term "economics of discovery", no satisfactory answer that can fit in well with the sentence could be found. Besides, I don't think there really exists some discipine or subject for study named "economics of discovery". I get rather confused about the term. Could someone please tell me what it means here? Thank you.