The evolution of information systems and the growth in the use of the Internet and social networks has caused an explosion in the amount of available data relevant to the activities of the companies. Therefore, the treatment of these available data is vital to support operational, tactical and strategic decisions. This paper aims to present the concept of big data and the main technologies that support the analysis of large data volumes.
The potential of big data is explored considering nine sectors of activity, such as financial, retail, healthcare, transports, agriculture, energy, manufacturing, public, and media and entertainment. In addition, the main current opportunities, vulnerabilities and privacy challenges of big data are discussed. It was possible to conclude that despite the potential for using the big data to grow in the previously identified areas, there are still some challenges that need to be considered and mitigated, namely the privacy of information, the existence of qualified human resources to work with Big Data and the promotion of a data-driven organizational culture.