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I have read several definitions of big data but the most I like is the one that says that big data is something too big, too fast and too complex for the tools that we already have.

Big data is a big set of data (order of petabytes or exabytes) of different nature that must be processed in a rapid manner, so the existing tools for relational database are not enough.. Big data uses a set of complex algorithms to decide which is the appropriate answer to the realized query.

Big data: the management revolution. Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson. MIT, Center for Digital Business, USA. Harvard business review (Impact Factor: 1.27). 10/2012; 90(10):60-6, 68, 128.

From Databases to Big Data. Sam Madden. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Are you ready for the era of ‘big data’? Brad Brown, Michael Chui, and James Manyika (October 2011)

* The problem of Big Data comes when we have to define who is the owner of the data, if the user or the person who manage the data. Pooling the appropriate databases, one may know who is the person behind certain data even though the name does not appear anywhere. Also, there is another ethic problem; the data can be used to harm people. The governments should establish some rules of “good behavior” to protect the persons that ceded their data to the companies and the companies controls what the employees do with the data *

My four questions for one exam could be:

  1. Explain what is a correlation in Big Data and give one example. Here the student must explain why this is the most important point of Big Data.
  2. What is a conclusion, reasoning, an evidence and an assumption? These three concepts are basic for critical thinking.
  3. Explain the main difference between Big Data and Open Data. We had to answer this question as a group and I think that one student that enroll this course must know the basic concepts of Big Data and Open Data.
  4. Explain why open data can be important for the society and creation of new business. In addition, give one example of how you would make profit of open data. Here the student can explain the implication of Open Data in the real life and make him/her think about how to create a business using Open Data.

manuel_delgado_-_coursera_critical_thinking_diploma.pdf