Finance and manufacturing lead the way for big data investments

Businesses in the finance and manufacturing sectors will be among the biggest users of big data analytics solutions in the coming years as they strive to make the most of the huge amounts of information their activities generate.

This is according to new research by International Data Corporation (IDC), which found that banking, professional services, discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing and central government will account for almost half of global big data investments in 2016. They will remain the top five sectors for the technology until at least 2020.

Of these, banking will be the largest sector, both in terms of overall revenue and the fastest growth in spending. In 2016, this sector is expected to invest around $17 billion (£13.82 billion) in the technology.

Total spending on big data technologies is expected to grow by 11.3 per cent in 2016, reaching $130.1 billion. The market will then continue to see strong performance until 2020, by which time it is forecast to be worth more than $203 billion.

Over the next few years other parts of the economy that are expected to contribute to this strong growth in big data investments include telecommunications, insurance, utilities and transportation. However, they will be far from alone, as 16 of the 18 sectors examined by IDC are forecast to experience double-digit compound annual growth rates for big data projects between 2015 and 2020.

Jessica Goepfert, program director, Customer Insights and Analysis, at IDC, said: "In our end-user research, respondents from organisations in these industries are placing a high priority on big data analytics initiatives over other technology investments. Within banking, many of these efforts are focused on risk management, fraud prevention and compliance-related activities."

She added that for sectors such as banking and telecoms, improving customer experience will be at their heart of their big data investments. For example, she noted that technologies are increasingly being deployed in call centres to give agents the information they need to deliver the best possible service.

The primary drivers of big data analytics technology will be large companies – those with more than 500 employees. These organisations will generate revenues of more than $154 billion for the sector by 2020. However, small and medium-sized businesses should not be overlooked, as they will remain a significant contributor to the market. Overall, more than a quarter of big data revenue will come from companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Dan Vesset, group vice-president, Analytics and Information Management, at IDC, said: "The availability of data, a new generation of technology, and a cultural shift toward data-driven decision making continue to drive demand for big data and analytics technology and services."

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