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Big Data and Analytics Spending Projected to Soar

Market watcher IDC says demand for big data and analytics products is as robust as ever, but the definition of that market is quite broad.

Demand for big data and analytics products and services seems as robust as ever.

This March, market watcher International Data Corp. (IDC) updated its Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide.

IDC projects a 12.4 percent uptick this year in spending on big data and analytics products and services -- with revenues expected to eclipse $150 billion. This isn't the stuff of runaway growth, but combined with a projected 11.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020, it's an impressive performance by most metrics.

By 2020, revenues from big data and analytics products and services will eclipse $200 billion.

"After years of traversing the adoption S-curve, big data and business analytics solutions have finally hit mainstream," said IDC Group Vice President Dan Vesset in a statement. "[Big data and analytics] as an enabler of decision support and decision automation is now firmly on the radar of top executives. This category of solutions is also one of the key pillars of enabling digital transformation efforts across industries and business processes globally."

Big Data and Analytics? Really?

That said, IDC's definition of "big data and analytics" seems awfully broad.

To wit, the market watcher projects spending on big data and analytics software to increase to more than $70 billion by 2020, with sales of end-user query, reporting and analysis, and data warehouse management tools leading the way. None of these tools screams "big data and analytics," however. Elsewhere, IDC projects that sales of nonrelational analytics data stores and "cognitive" software platforms will also record strong growth (posting CAGRs of 38.6 percent and 23.3 percent respectively) through the 2020 forecast period.

Interestingly, big-data- and analytics-related sales of servers and storage seem poised to grow at a more plebeian rate, with IDC projecting a CAGR of 9.0 percent through 2020.

Demand Across Verticals

Some verticals are spending more -- much more -- on big data and analytics technologies than others, IDC reports.

The market watcher says organizations in the banking, discrete manufacturing, federal and central government, and professional services sectors will spend $72.4 billion on big data and analytics products and services this year. These verticals should continue to be disproportionate consumers of big data and analytics through 2020, says IDC, at which point they're projected to account for a combined $101.5 billion of spending.

"The three industries that comprise the financial services sector -- banking, insurance, and securities and investment services -- all show great promise for future spending on big data and business analytics," said IDC program director Jessica Goepfert in a prepared release.

It makes sense that the financial sector is projected to be a huge consumer of big data and analytics technologies -- Goepfert cites fraud detection and risk management as two key use cases. If IDC's projections pan out, however, organizations in almost all verticals will be spending hugely on big data and analytics: the revised Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide projects double-digit growth in all but two industries.

Goepfert also highlighted outsized demand for analytics in telecommunications and media.

"Within telecommunications ... big data and analytics are applied to help retain and gain new customers as well as for network capacity planning and optimization," she explained.

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