The network infrastructures have been rapidly upgraded in many high-performance networks (HPNs). However, such infrastructure investment has not led to corresponding performance improvement in big data transfer, especially at the application layer, largely due to the complexity of optimizing transport control on end hosts. We design and implement ProbData, a PRofiling Optimization Based DAta Transfer Advisor, to help users determine the most effective data transfer method with the most appropriate control parameter values to achieve the best data transfer performance. ProbData employs a profiling optimization-based approach to exploit the optimal operational zone of various data transfer methods in support of big data transfer in extreme-scale scientific applications. We present a theoretical framework of the optimized profiling approach employed in ProbData as well as its detailed design and implementation. The advising procedure and performance benefits of ProbData are illustrated and evaluated by proof-of-concept experiments in real-life networks.