Investment in big data technologies continues to expand, according to a recent survey by Gartner Inc. The firm found that 73 percent of the 302 Gartner Research Circle members worldwide have invested or plan to invest in big data in the next 24 months, up from 64 percent in 2013.

The survey, conducted in June 2014, shows that the number of organizations saying they had no plans for big data investment dropped from 31 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2014.

Big data investment continues to be led by North America, with 47 percent of organizations reporting investment, up from 38 percent in 2013, said Nick Heudecker, research director at Gartner. "All other regions experienced increases in investment over the last year," Heudecker said in a statement.

This increased investment hasn’t led to an associated increase in organizations reporting deployed big data projects, however. Much of the work today revolves around strategy development and the creation of pilots and experimental projects.

"Big data can help address a wide range of business problems across many industries and for the third year in our study, both enhancing the customer experience and improving process efficiency are the top areas to address," Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "The most dramatic changes are in enhancing customer experience, especially in transportation, health care, insurance, media and communications, retail and banking.”

Research firm International Data Corp., in its own study, forecasts that the big data technology and services market will grow at a 26 percent compound annual growth rate to $41.5 billion through 2018, or about six times the growth rate of the overall IT market.

Although IDC believes that big data will continue to represent a fast-growing multibillion-dollar worldwide opportunity for the next five years, overall growth of the individual segments that make up the market are starting to show signs of a slowdown.

"The hype surrounding big data appears to be tempering down," Ashish Nadkarni, research director, Storage Systems and Big Data research at IDC, said in a statement. "This is a sign that the technologies are maturing and making their way into the fabric of how organizations operate and firms conduct their business."

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