Our day-to-day lives are increasingly digital and leave behind footprints that can be used to compile surprisingly personal and sensitive (in the Commonwealth Privacy Act sense of the word) information about us. Even our offline lives can appear in datasets (such as our use of tolled tunnels) can exist somewhere in digital form. Prior to thinking about the ethics of researchers accessing and using this information it is important to have a clear understanding of what big data actually is.
With that in mind I thought it was time to write a beginner’s guide to what Big Data means in 2017. In a similar way to my beginner’s guides to Blockchain and FinTech, this will be jargon-free and aims to explain the core concepts and ideas to anyone regardless of background knowledge.
It all starts with the exponential explosion in the amount of data we have generated since the dawn of the digital age. This is largely due to the rise of computers, the internet and technology capable of capturing information from the real, physical world we live in, and converting it to digital data.
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