In the first chapter we explained the ambiguity of Big Data definitions and highlighted its major features. We also talked about a deluge of Big Data sources, and mentioned that even one event, such as Messi's goal, can lead to an avalanche of large amounts of data being created almost instantaneously.
You were then introduced to some most commonly used Big Data tools we will be working with later, such as Hadoop, its Distributed File System and the parallel MapReduce framework, traditional SQL and NoSQL databases, and the Apache Spark project, which allows faster (and in many cases easier) data processing than in Hadoop.
We ended the chapter by presenting the origins of the R programming language, its gradual evolution into the most widely-used statistical computing environment, and the current position of R amongst a spectrum of Big Data analytics tools.
In the next chapter you will finally have a chance to get your hands dirty and learn, or revise, a number of frequently used functions in R for data management, transformations, and analysis.