Stat Watch: Is Big Data Still Big?

Technology makes it possible to analyze large amounts of data, but how accessible is it to the average organization? 

It seems big data - and the insights it can provide - is still very much out of reach for many, but the gap between companies large and small is narrowing.

According to 2017 findings from International Data Corporation (IDC), very large businesses (those with more than 1,000 employees) will be responsible for more than 60 percent of all big data and business analytics (BDA) spending through 2020. Those companies with fewer than 500 employees, however, are also actively investing - accounting for nearly a quarter of the worldwide BDA spending.

"After years of traversing the adoption S-curve, big data and business analytics solutions have finally hit mainstream," said Dan Vesset, IDC group vice president, analytics and information management in a statement earlier this year. "BDA 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."

Company size is very much an indicator of investment in big data and business analytics solutions, but industry might be a better gauge. According to IDC findings, the verticals making the largest investments in big data and business analytics solutions this year are banking, discrete manufacturing (production of automobiles, planes, smartphones), process manufacturing (using recipes/formulas), federal/central government and professional services.

In terms of more specific allocation of funds, software investments, according to IDC, will grow to more than $70 billion in 2020, led by purchases of end-user query, reporting and analysis tools and data warehouse management tools.

Get help with BDA investment by reviewing Website Magazine's 2017 "Top50 Big Data, BI & Analytics" list.

Most digital decision-makers (90 percent) are having their ambitions to use data for new digital services held back due to a lack of resources, the complexity of using multiple technologies or reliance on legacy database technology. (Couchbase, 2017) 


Data collection is agreeable to 31.5 percent of consumers if they get something in return, but almost 37.5 percent want a say in what is collected from businesses. (iVend Retail, 2017)

The estimated number of job openings for data science and analytics positions for 2020 is 2,716,425. (Burning Glass Technologies, 2017)

At time of print, 3,105 companies are listed as Big Data Analytics Startups on AngelList with an average valuation of $4.6 million. More than 35 of these startups joined the list in Sept. 2017 alone. (AngelList, 2017)