Big Data is a term used to describe large sets of data that are to be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends and associations. There are many implementations for this data, whether it be for marketing purposes, predictive analysis, or simply to measure trends in human behavior. Corporations, political campaigns, governments, academia and many other institutions will use big data to process information about a wide variety of concepts, ranging from consumer spending habits to climate data.
This data can be very expensive to obtain, as it requires immense technological resources and often a platform that is privy to said data being collected. It is also very time consuming, as it can often take months, if not years to collect enough data to meet the needs of a project or company.
Due to scarcity from the large expenses to be incurred and precise resources required to collect consumer data, large sets of data are considered a valuable asset. This data can be broken up, sold and reused multiple times, before it matures to the point where it is no longer relevant in most applications. Just as quality, relevance and detail varies between data sets, so does monetary value. Despite Big Data being a $40 billion market as of 2017 (and rapidly growing), there has never been an investment vehicle created to allow for speculation on the value of data sets.