Introduction to Big Data

  • William RaffertyEmail author
  • Laura Rafferty
  • Patrick C. K. Hung
Part of the International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology book series (ISCEMT)


Big data is a term that has been gaining considerable attention in recent years. Big data is essentially a massive amount of data that can be analyzed and used to make decisions. There are three main characteristics associated with big data: volume, variety and velocity. There are many motivations for the adoption of big data; this data has remarkable potential to drive innovation, the economy, productivity and future growth. Big data analytics has become very popular in the area of marketing, driving up value by understanding and engaging customers more effectively. There are many industries that have adopted the use of big data analytics and are experiencing fantastic results; the healthcare, retail, insurance and telecommunications industries have all displayed the endless possibilities of implemented big data into their operations. However, as more information is collected through big data, there becomes more concern for individuals’ privacy. To mitigate these potential risks, policies have been put into place such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Furthermore, due to the nature of the technologies within the Internet of Things (IoT), there are security concerns. These systems are very resource-constrained which results in a large amount of attention in cryptography and security engineering. This paper provides an introduction to the concepts of big data, motivations, some case studies, and a brief discussion on privacy.


Big data Privacy Pervasive computing Internet of things 


  1. 1.
    MongoDB. Big data explained. (2015). Retrieved from
  2. 2.
    P. Dave, What is big data - 3 Vs of big data. (2013, 10 2). Retrieved from SQL Authority Blog:
  3. 3.
    K. Bottles, E. Begoli, B. Worley. Understanding the pros and cons of big data analytics. (2014). Retrieved from|A377410232&v=2.1&it=r&userGroup=ko_acd_uoo&authCount=1
  4. 4.
    O. Tene, J. Polenetsky. Data, privacy in the age of big data. (2012, February 2). Retrieved from Stanford Law Review:
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    L. Arthur, in Big Data Marketing, ed. by L. Arthur (John Wiley & Sons, 2013). Retrieved Aug 2015, from
  7. 7.
    M. V. Rijmenam, Why 360-degrees customer profiles created with big data are nothing new. (2015). Retrieved from DATAFLOQ:
  8. 8.
    Techopedia. (n.d.). Pervasive computing. Retrieved from Techopedia:
  9. 9.
    Datamation. Why big data and the internet of things are a perfect match. (2015). Retrieved from Datamation:
  10. 10.
    A. S. Moreno. Internet of Things Security, Privacy and Trust Considerations. (2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    K. B. Ahmed, M. Bouhorma, M. Ahmed, Age of big data and smart cities: privacy trade-off. (2014, October). Retrieved from arXiv:
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Data Science Series. (n.d.). Examples of what you can accomplish with big data. Retrieved from Data Science Series:
  14. 14.
    Google. Google Flu Trends. (2014). Retrieved from
  15. 15.
    B. Walsh, Google’s flu project shows failings of big data (2014). Retrieved from Time:
  16. 16.
    M. V. Rijmenam, T-Mobile USA cuts down churn rates by 50% with big data. Retrieved from DATAFLOQ:
  17. 17.
    M. Goldberg. Cloud computing experts detail big data security and privacy risks. (2013). Retrieved from Data Informed:
  18. 18.
    J. Crampton, Collect it all: National Security, Big Data and Governance (2014). Retrieved from SSRN: Scholar
  19. 19.
    E. Kovacs, Researchers Find 1PB of Data Exposed by Misconfigured Databases (2015, August). Retrieved from SecurityWeek:
  20. 20.
    Ontario’s Privacy Legislation. (2015). Retrieved from
  21. 21.
    Office of The Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The Personal Information Protection and Electric Documents Act (PIPEDA). (2013). Retrieved from Office of The Privacy Commissioner of Canada:
  22. 22.
    Government of Canada. Personal Information Protection and Electric Documents Act. (2015). Retrieved from Justice Laws Website:
  23. 23.
    Office of The Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Privacy Legislation in Canada. (2014). Retrieved from Office of The Privacy Commissioner of Ontario:
  24. 24.
    Privacy Protection in Canada. (2015). Retrieved from Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada:
  25. 25.
    Mondaq. (2014). Canada’s digital privacy rethink: fines, enforceable compliance agreements. Retrieved from Mondaq: ink+Fines+Enforceable+Compliance+Agreement s+And+More
  26. 26.
    Incident Summary #4. (2014). Retrieved from
  27. 27.
    A. Cavoukian. A Guide to the Personal Health Information Protection Act. (2004, December). Retrieved from Information and Privacy Commissioner:
  28. 28. Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. (2010). Retrieved from
  29. 29.
    A. Cavoukian. Frequently Asked Questions: Personal Health Information Protection Act. (2005, Febuary). Retrieved from Information and Privacy Commissioner:

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Rafferty
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Rafferty
    • 1
  • Patrick C. K. Hung
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Business and ITUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Electronic EngineeringNational Taipei University of TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations