2 min read
Dec 12, 2019

The State of Big Data in Business [Infographic]

"Big data" is the buzzword du jour, but how do small businesses use it today? GetApp's infographic shares the current state of big data in business.

Lauren MaffeoAssociate Principal Analyst

Do you know what a zettabyte is? It’s a volume of data that equals 1,000 exabytes. Computer science reached a milestone when IP traffic first exceeded one zettabyte in 2016; the whole digital world is forecast to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020.

We produce an unprecedented amount of data each minute of every day. An explosion of Internet-connected devices, data mining techniques, and streaming services like Spotify and Netflix all led to this cornucopia. But despite claims that “data is the new oil,” not every business leader reaps data’s rewards. 

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What is big data?

Big data references a large amount of data that requires special forms of processing. Big data is so high in volume and variety that it has no inherent value. To gain enhanced insights from this data, you’ll need a range of processes and tools to manage it. 

The increase in data production gave rise to a new technology: Modern business intelligence (BI) software. These cloud-based, self-service tools let users enter, assess, and analyze their companies’ big data. Then, they can use data visualization features and present the most relevant data to specific stakeholders. 

Self-service BI software reached new value in 2019. As one example, the Salesforce CRM purchased Tableau, a cloud-based data visualization software, for $15.3 billion. This acquisition reinforced essential BI software has become—and how much help businesses need to make sense of their data. 

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The state of big data in business

In April 2019, GetApp surveyed 488 leaders of North American businesses with fewer than 500 employees. We wanted to learn the state of big data in business:

  • Which industries are most likely to use big data? 

  • What software do businesses across industries use to analyze big data?

  • How many business leaders feel confident in their data collection processes?

  • Which software features would help business leaders in various industries?

After reporting on our results throughout the year, we’ve shared some noteworthy statistics below. They show the state of big data in business today, and expose areas for improvement. 

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