[AIP-Scitation ] What is Big Data – A Consensual Definition and a Review of Key Research Topics

What is Big Data – A Consensual Definition and a Review of Key Research Topics

‘Big Data has now become a ubiquitous term in many parts of industry and academia. As often happens in these cases, the frequent utilization of the same words in different contexts poses a threat towards the structured evolution of its meaning. For this reason it is necessary to invest time and effort in the proposition and the acceptance of a standard definition of Big Data that would pave the way to its systemic evolution and minimize the confusion related to its usage. In order to describe Big Data we have decided to start from an “as is” analysis of the contexts in which the term most frequently appears.

Given its remarkable success and its hectic evolution, Big Data possesses multiple and diverse nuances of meaning, all of which have the right to exist. By analyzing the most significant occurrences of this term in both academic and business literature we have identified four key themes to which Big

Data refers: Information, Technologies, Methods and Impact. We can reasonably assert that the vast majority of references to Big Data encompass one of the four themes listed above.

Understanding how these themes have been dealt with in existing literature and how they are mutually interconnected is the objective of the first section of this paper and is propaedeutic to the attempt of proposing a thorough definition, which is what the second section aims
to provide. We believe that having such a definition will enable a more conscious usage of the term Big Data and a more coherent development of research on this subject.’

Keywords: Big Data; Analytics; Information Management; Data Processing; Business Intelligence.
By Andrea De Mauro (Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata)
Marco Greco & Michele Grimaldi Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
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Source : scitation.aip.org

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