This module introduces big data, a term which relates to the management and analysis of sets of data that are typically too large for traditional data-processing software. 

Most businesses, organisations and educational institutions deal with large volumes of data on a day to day basis. Big data can be analysed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business initiatives. If used to it’s full potential, Big Data can help reduce costs, increase productivity and enhanced customer services. 

The Big Data module provides students with an understanding of the key concepts, and potential of Big Data. In addition, this module is ideal for students considering opting for Leaving Certificate Computer Science, providing a conceptual understanding of Big Data as a precursor to working with file systems and relational databases.

Build an understanding of the key concepts, and potential of big data

Module overview

What is Big Data
  • Definition of big data

  • Key stages in the evolution of big data. 

  • Key characteristics of big data like: volume, velocity, variety, variability, veracity, valueTrends driving the expansion of data like: online, consumer and organisational activity, IoT

  • Potential of big data for organisations
The Big Data Environment
  • Common big data storage techniques and approaches to big data analysis

  • Common approaches to big data visualisation
Big Data in Practice
  • Approaches to implementing big data in a variety of sectors
Big Data Adoption
  • investment in resources and competences 

  • Challenges such as data quality and consistency, system compatibility

  • Potential of providing big data as a service, selling analysis

  • Ethical considerations such as governance, data protection

  • Steps for exploiting big data in a given scenerio

Main learning outcomes

The Big Data module consists of e-learning followed by a brief certification test.  Together, these components deliver a short, focused course for students, which will deliver the following learning outcomes;

  • Understand the term big data and its evolution, and recognise drivers behind its expansion 
  • Recognise key aspects of big data relating to storage technologies, analysis, and visualisation
  • Recognise examples of big data implementation in a range of sectors
  • Identify considerations for adoption of big data, including investment, practical challenges, business potential, and ethical issues
  • Recognise steps for exploiting big data in a specific scenario or situation


The detailed syllabus for the Artificial Intelligence module is publicly available, so that there is complete clarity about what is covered.

The syllabus document, which sets out the specific skills and knowledge that you will learn and against which you will be certified, can be downloaded here.

Offer ICDL in your school

ICDL is a global digital skills certification. With a wide range of courses to choose from, ICDL offers the real world digital skills your students need to excel and become more productive learners, employees, entrepreneurs and citizens.

To offer ICDL to your learners, students and staff contact us


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