This paper presents a review of the challenges to engineering management in the Big Data Era as well as the Big Data applications. First, it outlines the definitions of big data, data science and intelligent knowledge and the history of big data. Second, the paper reviews the academic activities about big data in China. Then, it elaborates a number of challenging big data problems, including transforming semi-structured and non-structured data into “structured format” and explores the relationship of data heterogeneity, knowledge heterogeneity and decision heterogeneity. Furthermore, the paper reports various real-life applications of big data, such as financial and petroleum engineering and internet business.