Scientific simulations on high performance computing (HPC) platforms generate large quantities of data. To bridge the widening gap between compute and I/O, and enable data to be more efficiently stored and analyzed, simulation outputs need to be refactored, reduced, and appropriately mapped to storage tiers. However, a systematic solution to support these steps has been lacking on the current HPC software ecosystem. To that end, this paper develops Canopus, a progressive JPEGlike data management scheme for storing and analyzing big scientific data. It co-designs the data decimation, compression and data storage, taking the hardware characteristics of each storage tier into considerations. With reasonably low overhead, our approach refactors simulation data into a much smaller, reduced-Accuracy base dataset, and a series of deltas that is used to augment the accuracy if needed. The base dataset and deltas are compressed and written to multiple storage tiers. Data saved on different tiers can then be selectively retrieved to restore the level of accuracy that satisfies data analytics. Thus, Canopus provides a paradigm shift towards elastic data analytics and enables end users to make trade-offs between analysis speed and accuracy on-The-fly. We evaluate the impact of Canopus on unstructured triangular meshes, a pervasive data model used by scientific modeling and simulations. In particular, we demonstrate the progressive data exploration of Canopus using the 'blob detection' use case on the fusion simulation data.