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Report: Big Data Spending to Approach $114 Billion in 2018

Organizations from all industries are recognizing the potential benefits associated with implementing a progressive Big Data initiative. The Big Data movement is agnostic in the sense that properly deployed projects can improve operations, reduce costs, and pave the way to future success for virtually any company, regardless of size, demographic, or sector.

Because Big Data strategies are so effective, companies around the world are investing in storage solutions, analytic platforms, and new employees to ensure the endeavors are successful. ABI Research recently revealed that global Big Data spending is forecast to exceed $31 billion in 2013. After this year, these values are expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 30 percent during the next 5 years, with spending eventually reaching $114 billion in 2018.

Analysts highlighted that roughly half of this spending is allocated to employee salaries because organizations are looking to narrow the skills gap that traditionally impaired Big Data and other technological initiatives.

"What we're now seeing is quite significant overspending on salaries as organizations turn to data scientists and other specialists in order to leverage Big Data in the first place," said Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI Research. "Similarly, a good share of the money is spent on the associated professional services, which have sprung up to assist firms that are data-rich but skills-poor."

Overcoming the skills gap
ABI Research noted that crossing the talent gap in the Big Data scene will require organizations to ensure data scientists are more productive and that they have the tools needed to ensure all initiative are carried out effectively and efficiently. A separate IBM report highlighted similar ideas, stating that data scientists are considered to be part analyst and part artist.

"A data scientist is somebody who is inquisitive, who can stare at data and spot trends," said Anjul Bhambhri, vice president of Big Data products at IBM. "It's almost like a Renaissance individual who really wants to learn and bring change to an organization."

In the coming years, the roles of the data scientist and other positions will evolve and help organizations improve their ability to gather, store, and analyze large amounts of complex information while avoiding obstacles along the way. By providing these individuals with access to sophisticated analytic solutions, companies of all sizes in a variety of industries can improve operations and their chances of experiencing long-term success.

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