Open any current business and technology publication and you will find at least one article on big data. IT World Canada alone has published many on the topic. In their next article, I will give you a sense of just how big this big data phenomenon really is and provide an example of a new type of business that is developing to serve the big data analysis needs of business and industry.

So just how big is the big data market? There are differing measurements but all analysts sizing this market have it growing quickly and at a rate faster than other IT related market sectors. Here are some examples of the predicted value/market size:

Research firm IDC in Jan 2013 extrapolated that big data market that will grow revenue at 31.7 percent a year until it hits the $23.8 billion mark in 2016. Wikibon.org predicts big data market at $32 billion in 2015 growing to $53 Billion in 2017. A.T. Kearney working with Carnegie Melon University predicts a 30% compound annual growth rate to reach a value of $114 billion by 2018. Gartner forecasts data integration and data quality tools as the software /IT spending area that will grow the fastest over the next few years. General Electric and Accenture report a similar impact in the industrial internet data space. They define the Industrial Internet as the use of sensor, software, machine-to-machine learning and other technologies to gather and analyze data from physical objects or other large data streams, and then use those analyses to manage operations and in some cases to offer new, valued-added services. They found 87% of enterprises believe big data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years. In a recent study they found 87% of enterprises believe big data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years. 89% believe that companies that do not adopt a Big Data analytics strategy in the next year risk losing market share and momentum. In the telecom sector alone a report commissioned by Huawei predicts the big data and services market to grow at a 26% CAGR from $1.93 billion in 2013 to $9.83 billion in 2020. The range in valuations can be attributed to differing definitions of the subsectors included in the overall definition of big data e.g. some analysts include hardware and others do not. The important and consistent information across the predictions is a Compound Annual Growth Rate in the 25% to 30% range.

What should companies do to ensure they do not get left behind? There is no one right answer here. I suggest you have a look back over the articles published here. Together they provide an excellent analysis of many of the pieces needed to set your company on the right path. One thing is for sure though. The ability to tie huge data resources to each other in an analytical environment is leading to some new service companies.

Tableau Software is one example of a business designed to take the complexity out of your move to big data analysis. Their dashboard interface makes it is as easy as possible for your employees to get the critical data analysis driven information they need. I use Tableau here as one example and for sure there are others. What is really telling from their website is the broad range of sectors they serve. Tableau’s over 29,000 customers are spread across the Aerospace & Defense, Agriculture & Mining, Associations & Non-profits, Automotive, Banking & Finance, Business Services, Construction, Consumer Goods & Services, Education, Energy & Utilities, Food & Beverage, Government, Healthcare & Medical, Insurance, Investment Services, Manufacturing, Media, Entertainment & Publishing, Other, Pharmaceuticals & Biotech, Retail & Distribution, Software & Technology, Telecommunications, Transportation & Logistics, and Travel & Hospitality sectors. That covers pretty well everything!

Tableau and others in the big data service space have been around for a couple of years now and are providing an important roadmap to big data usage for many companies. In the very near future we can expect to see new companies with solutions designed to take the pain out of integrating big data analysis into the daily corporate decision making. I will continue to follow these innovators and report in a future post.

So just how big is big data? The metrics speak for themselves and with so many businesses incorporating big data analytics into their decision making don’t expect the growth to slow any time soon.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Dave is a founding managing partner of REDDS Venture Investment Partners (www.reddsvip.com). His career in post-secondary education included roles as CIO, Vice-President and acting President. Dave is a member of the Practitioner Board of the Association for Computing Machinery. He chairs the ACM Practitioner Board Marketing Committee and is also a second term member of the Board's Professional Development Committee. (ACM - Association for Computing Machinery--official IFIP international member representative, largest and most respected international computing science, research, education, innovation professional association well known for their AM Turing Award (Nobel of computing) with 1 million USD prize, 1.5 millions user digital library, 2 million reach, learning center, Applicative conference, Queue magazine, 200 conferences/events, 78 publications/news, 37 Special Interest Groups). He is a board director of the Global Industry Council and the immediate Past President of the Canadian Information Processing Society of British Columbia. Dave is co-founder and director of an ISV computer technology business and is currently leading and advising start ups in the USA, China, Europe, and Canada. He serves as a task force member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is the past chair of the Canadian National Council of Deans of Information and Communications Technology. He served two terms as a director of the Canadian National Information and Communications Technology Sector Council advising on National technology and economic strategy. Dave has appeared as a panel member in a number of Microsoft webcasts and has presented globally on the business and technical impacts of technology in training. He is the recipient (2002) of the highest national award for leadership in post-secondary education.