ABSTRACT

The big data concept has been around for many years. From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Nowadays we produce five exabytes every two days…and the pace is accelerating (Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google).

For entrepreneurs, big data provides novel approaches to observe human behavior and to discover and exploit business opportunities; that will allow them to become the engine that drives the economy and to create social change.

The objective of this chapter is to reveal big data as an enabler of social innovation for entrepreneurs; it can bring opportunities and other various benefits of its multi-function use, especially with the Internet of Things (IoT).

In the first part, we will explain the reasons behind the significant growth of the big data concept: starting by the background and history of bigdata, then a definition of the concept. We will tackle the use of this data in our daily life, and the use of big data in business, especially in decision-making. We will highlight many success stories in the big data era (e.g., Netflix) and describe also how this data is generated (Internet of Events) and its challenges (the 4Vs).

In the second part, we will discuss the subject of entrepreneurship. In fact, few topics in the business area have attracted more attention among academics and journalists than entrepreneurship. Obviously, throughout the years, entrepreneurship and innovation were always associated. In the early twentieth century, Schumpeter identified the key player of innovation: the entrepreneur; entrepreneurs were the ones who engineered shifts through their desire to exploit technology to revolutionize existing products. With big data, a new entrepreneurial context was born, but before discussing this point, we will define and emphasize the importance of both entrepreneurship and sustainability, and innovation will be provided.

We will go along some of the opportunities that entrepreneurs must exploit on the path of innovation through big data (open innovation and social innovation). Finally, the third part will include one of the most exciting and impactful technological evolutions of our time: the Internet of Things (IoT). We will try to answer three questions: what is IoT, the opportunities to innovate with IoT, and using the IoT for good.