Are big data market forecasts too far off the charts?

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Citing demand for products and services that help enterprises turn large volumes of raw, often unstructured data into business insight as the driving factor behind the big data market's exceptional growth, Wikibon offered phenomenal news to companies invested in this technology with its $50 billion forecast. It just as likely will attract a lot of skeptics.

Wikibon released its second annual "Big Data Vendor Revenue and Market Forecast" report this week in which it said revenue for the big data market reached $11.4 billion in 2012, a 58 percent increase from 2011. The research firm said this year it will grow to $18.2 billion, a 61 percent increase, and climb to $50 billion by 2017.

The firm put IBM (NYSE: IBM), HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Teradata at the top of this revenue chain, with IBM leading with $1.3 billion in revenue. NoSQL databases and big data applications grew by 90 percent, although most of the revenue came from professional services.

Wikibon has a standard definition for big data which comprises those data sets whose size, type and speed of creation make them impractical to process and analyze with traditional database technologies. You can get more detail here, but for its forecasts, the firm includes:

  • Hadoop software and related hardware
  • NoSQL database software and related hardware
  • Next-generation data warehouses/analytic database software and related hardware
  • Non-Hadoop big data platforms, software and related hardware
  • Data integration and data quality platforms and tools as applied to big data deployments
  • Advanced analytics and data science platforms and tools
  • Application development platforms and tools as applied to big data use cases
  • Business intelligence and data visualization platforms, and tools as applied to big data use cases
  • Analytic and transactional applications as applied to big data use cases
  • Big data support, training, and professional services

Jeff Kelly, big data analyst at Wikibon and lead author of the study, said that market growth indicates a healthy and maturing vendor ecosystem for big data. "Demand for products and services that help enterprises turn large volumes of raw, often unstructured data into business insight continues to be the driving factor behind this market's exceptional growth," he said.

Wikibon isn't alone in forecasting big days ahead for big data. IDC puts the market at $10 billion now and $23.8 billion by 2016. Gartner says this year big data will drive $34 billion in IT spending.

Some critics of these numbers say that this is not necessarily new spending for a new segment, it is, as Gartner worded it, a driver for IT spending. Others, such as the International Institute for Analytics, feel the segment is over-hyped, ill-defined and unworthy of projections

For more:
- see the Wikibon report

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