As data continues to proliferate exponentially, businesses of all kinds are finding it more and more worthwhile to analyze that data so they can better pinpoint market opportunities, deliver greater value to their customers and improve the efficiency of their operations.

But businesses need a lot of help gathering, integrating, analyzing and monetizing data on an increasingly massive scale. That’s why technology vendors offering big data solutions are raking in an estimated $30 billion worldwide. And that revenue is projected to grow 17 percent annually to reach $76 billion by 2020, said the authors of “The Big Data Market 2014–2020: Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies, Industry Verticals and Forecasts,” a new report from SNS Research.

The report asserts that the lion’s share of big data spending currently is going to hardware and professional services, but that over time, software vendors will capture a proportionally larger piece. It also predicts that the many innovative startups spawned by booming interest in big data will get gobbled up by large industry incumbents, which will likely assemble those “piece parts” into holistic packaged solutions.

The big data boom is also not without its resistance points. Privacy is a growing issue as people rightly become concerned about their personal information being used in inappropriate and invasive ways. Businesses are also facing a variety of internal obstacles to their adoption of big data technologies — including skepticism on the part of stakeholders about the ultimate value of such investments and the difficulty big data champions often have overcoming the territorial mind-set of LOB data owners.

Concerns about privacy and information security may attract the closer attention of regulators and place further constraints on big data implementations.

Despite these issues, it seems clear that big data will remain a compelling target for investment — and that it will therefor remain a lucrative market for technology vendors capable of providing solutions that transform the wealth of data generated by applications, mobile devices, sensors, social media and other sources into actionable insights. It is also clear that as the volume, variety and velocity of data available to business keep growing, new technologies will be required to capture, store, integrate, govern, analyze and visualize that data.

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