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Tipping point for big data and advanced analytics in Australia

Data from analyst firm IDC shows that big data and advanced analytics in Australia could be about to accelerate.

In late June this year, IDC released a report entitled Australia big data and analytics heat map. If your organi­sation has $4,500 to spare you can read the report in its entirety, which goes into fine detail about exactly how and why big data and analytics investment is growing in Australia. It also has comparisons with other countries such as New Zealand and the rest of Asia-Pacific, some of which are lagging behind Australia to an extent.

But you don’t need to spend that money to get a gen­eral idea of what’s happening in Australia, since the sum­mary does that quite nicely. In short, IDC expects the big data technology and services market to grow at a com­pound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 28%.

What does that mean? Since the starting point for this data is 2014, it means the Australian market will grow from US$260.3m in 2014 to US$711.2m in 2018. It’s left as an exercise for the reader to convert those US dollars to Australian dollar figures, but it’s the rate of change that’s important – and this one is high. So high, in fact, that IDC calls this the tipping point for big data adop­tion, and sees the fastest growing segments being cloud infrastructure, storage, discovery and analytics applica­tions, and networking infrastructure.

Building up to rapid growth

It’s not immediately obvious how quickly these gains will arrive. IDC makes the point that in 2014, some 25% of Australian organisations were planning to increase their big data and analytics budgets in 2015. That still leaves 75% that weren’t.

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The company acknowledges that things aren’t neces­sarily running at the same speed for everyone. According to Sally Parker, research director for cloud and big data at IDC: “Australia’s adoption of big data has been character­istic of a two-speed economy. However, a growing imper­ative for organisations to leverage technology to innovate and ultimately remain competitive not just locally, but globally, is driving data-driven intelligence initiatives.”

 She points out that although Australia is one of the most mature Apac markets, there are still many organisations that don’t realise the benefits of big data analytics and are still at the discovery stage. But IDC believes that 2015 is the year when that will change.

Improved customer experience and customer service are ranked as top business priorities in Australia, and indeed Apac as a whole. Australian organisations expect big data and advanced analytics projects to deliver those improvements, thereby helping with customer acquisition and retention. It all comes down to competitive advantage.

Companies in NZ and Australia are quickly realising the opportunities that big data and advanced analytics can bring. What’s holding them back now isn’t the awareness – it’s the implemen­tation. Once the industry scales up to meet that demand, the only way is up.

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