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Big Data 50 - Companies Driving Innovation

Big changes are happening in the world of big data. More data is being created, stored, and moved—and more than ever, companies want to gain value from it.

The forecasts for the impact of data growth are staggering. CSC has projected that, by 2020, more than one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud. According to EMC, the digital universe is doubling in size every 2 years and, by 2020, the data created and copied each year will reach 44 zettabytes.

Smartphone IP traffic will exceed PC traffic within the next 5 years, according to Cisco, which projects that PCs will account for only 29% of IP traffic, while smartphones will be responsible for 30% of total IP traffic in 2020. And, looking at IoT alone, McKinsey Global Institute research has estimated that the impact of embedded sensors and connected devices on the global economy might be as high as $6.2 trillion by 2025.

The burden of managing burgeoning data volumes effectively is already being felt. A recent Unisphere Research study among data managers and professionals who are members of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), finds that data footprints are expanding in terms of the number of instances as well as in size, creating challenges for administrators. According to “The Rapidly Accelerating Cloud-Enabled Enterprise: 2015 IOUG Survey on Database Manageability,” sponsored by Oracle, a majority of respondents say their data volumes are expanding at more than 10% annually, and at least 38% of respondents say their shops run 100 or more distinct databases, up from 25% in an earlier survey conducted in 2013.

In terms of size of databases, one in 10 respondents reported data sizes expanding at more than 50% a year, while for another 28% of respondents, the rate is exceeding 20%. The study suggests that there is a greater need for automation and more proactive management to maintain currency and consistency for data environments.

As organizations seek to move from maintenance to innovation, another IOUG study sponsored by EMC, finds that many organizations continue to address vexing database and data center challenges by adding more hardware, such as storage arrays and servers, but there is also an increasing appreciation for more advanced approaches that improve efficiency. Consolidation, automation, and virtualization are three approaches that were identified as being critical for future capabilities of respondents’ organizations.

The bottom line is that it is clear now that with the growth of data variety, volume, and velocity, innovative data management approaches are needed. Today, data lakes are giving organizations the ability to amass huge reservoirs of data for future analysis, while cloud is providing easy access to technologies and services as needed, and artificial intelligence promises to proactively simplify management. There is also a growing appreciation for the value of open source technologies for large-scale data processing, such as Spark and Hadoop, and the variety of NoSQL databases that can run on commodity hardware and support the unstructured, nonrelational data flowing into organizations. Add to that, the benefits of data discovery and visualization for everyday business users, and the wealth of real-time data analytics opportunities afforded by the growing sphere of IoT, and there is a sense of the wide array of approaches to extracting value from new data sources.

To address the rapid changes taking place in the IT industry, some companies are even restructuring their own organizations to place themselves in the best possible position to seize new opportunities. In the past year, there have been a number of high-profile mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs that have been, or are about to be, completed, and some industry experts are also forecasting an upswing in tech IPOs.

To help organizations continue to get the most from their data, here and on the pages that follow, Big Data Quarterly presents the second annual “Big Data 50,” our list of companies driving innovation. The Big Data 50 includes forward-thinking companies that are expanding what is possible in terms of managing and deriving value from data.

We encourage you to learn more by visiting vendors’ websites, reading the articles penned by company executives, and reviewing Unisphere Research’s continually expanding library of survey reports at

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