Although there is no widely consented definition, big data can be characterized by specific properties or ‘dimensions’, most importantly volume, variety, velocity, and veracity and/or validity. Other concepts such as data science, data mining and data visualization have arisen around the term big data. It has also been heralded as contributing to a major transformation in the methodology of scientific work and it is linked to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the notion of open data. Given the emergent nature of the big data domain, it is no wonder that from an economic perspective it is still a field with more questions than answers. Main topics that slowly start to appear in the scientific literature and the research roadmaps are, among others, issues related to the economic value of data12 and their impact on growth, jobs and the quality of life, the analysis of the structure of this emerging industry and its implications for innovation and competition, and the application of new and existing economic theories to explain its dynamic behavior. This chapter explores the emerging domain of big data economics. It describes the features of the big data ecosystem, the main players, and their relationships. From there different economic approaches are used to explore the big data market, its dynamics and the value of data within it. Opportunities and challenges for both researchers and marketers are explored. The chapter concludes with a few reflections on policy issues.
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