Hyphenating an adjective composed of two words is, from what I understand, fairly straightforward: if the adjective is before the noun, it must be hyphenated
The three-eyed raven
(with some exceptions such as not hyphenating after adverbs ending in -ly)
A highly efficient team
But how would one apply this to create an adjective from a composed word or expression and an adjective or past participle ? The example that comes to my mind is the following sentence:
Your product is based on big data
Which of these two options, if any, should I use, and why?
A big-data-based product
A big data-based product
Reading this, I think the second option does not mean what I want it to mean (it means that the product is big and based on data, not based on big data). The first option seems to make more sense, but is it correct?
The question begins:
Hyphenating an adjective composed of two words is, from what I understand, fairly straightforward: if the adjective is before the noun, it must be hyphenated …
But this premises is quite incorrect. Mere grammatical form never mandates hyphenation. As the linked articles indicate:
When the meaning is clear without using a hyphen, it need not be used. In many cases this will mean that a hyphen will be sued, because many compounds can be read in multiple ways. But long familiar compounds will tend to drop the hyphen, because other meanings become improbable when a stand compound becomes a fixed phrase.
Incidentally, the APA link suggests hyphenating all words of a multi-word compound adjective. This means that “A big-data-based product” is not only permitted, but favored. Specifically the APA page says, under “General Principle 2”:
Also use hyphens for — Compounds in which the base word is:
more than one word: non-achievement-oriented students