There have been many different definitions for Big Data proposed by technology experts and a wide range of organizations. For purposes of this book, we developed the following definition:

Because there is no commonly accepted definition of Big Data, we offer this definition because it is both descriptive and practical. Our definition emphasizes that the term Big Data really refers to a process that results in information that supports decision making, and the definition underscores that Big Data is not simply a shorthand reference to an amount or type of data. Our definition is derived from our research and elements of a number of existing definitions.