The term Big Data refers to the amount of data saved by companies over time. This data cannot be analyzed or managed with simpler instruments such as a database. Big Data includes information on commercial operations, photos, videos, computer activity logs as well as web texts such as those found in blogs or social media networks. Nowadays data have become a company’s asset. When correctly collected and analyzed, Big Data can generate a sizeable profit. Big Data are often defined by their characteristics: volume, speed and the diversity of the available data. As the term Big Data itself indicates, "volume" refers to the immense amount of data generated every day on the web.

2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated each day on the web. Thanks to an in-depth analysis of this data, a company can benefit from a daily outlook on the levels of appreciation of their product or service. “Speed” refers to the extreme rapidity by which Big Data is generated and interpreted. Being able to control great quantities of information in real time, especially transactions, can help prevent or pinpoint possible computer frauds. The speed of analysis can signal, for instance, a credit card being used at brief intervals of time but in places that are very distant from one another. “Diversity” instead underlines the diverse nature of the information found in Big Data. The analysis and comparison of very different kinds of data can provide precious information for a commercial venture. For instance, by relating the images captured by surveillance cameras to Gps coordinates, one can locate meeting points or places where people assemble, so as to plan the possible opening of a new commercial outlet. Today’s financial, social and cultural trends seem to show that Big Data has not yet reached its absolute development. This gigantic flow of information seems destined to grow even more in the near future.
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