There are numerous definitions, but perhaps the most useful comes from the report by the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group. It speaks of an “explosion” in the volume and production of data matched by a “growing demand for data from all parts of society”. But it goes further than discussing supply and demand. It says the data revolution must address global inequalities in access to and use of data and should aim to “monitor development progress, hold governments accountable and foster sustainable development. (OECD Document).
Source: UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (2014), “A World that Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for sustainable development”: http://www.undatarevolution.org/report/