Big data has applications across industries, from providing detailed customer profiles for retailers to improving the drug discovery process through the use of predictive modeling. The opportunities available to those companies that can harness the power of big data are clear and wide-ranging but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, businesses need to tailor their approach to their own specific requirements and use cases.
Leading public companies in big data
Listed below are the leading public companies in big data, as identified by GlobalData.
Alphabet – US
Google Cloud Platform helps organisations analyse data at the scale of the entire web, with the familiarity of SQL and in a fully managed, serverless architecture where backend infrastructure is fully handled on the user’s behalf. Google has been working on enhancing its big data offerings, acquiring Looker, for $2.6bn, and Cask Data. Both companies specialised in providing solutions to run big data analytics services.
Alteryx – US
Alteryx is a data preparation, integration, and management vendor. It provides drag-and-drop functionality for blending different data types. It offers solutions across multiple areas including advanced analytics, BI and visualisation, data discovery and management, location intelligence, and technology integration.
Amazon – US
Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a broad range of services to help organisations build and deploy big data solutions. It provides access to flexible and low-cost IT resources, so organisations can rapidly scale virtually any big data application. One of the key focus areas for AWS has been creating an ecosystem of enterprise cloud offerings to fortify its leadership in the cloud arena.
AristaNetworks – US
Arista specialises in developing and supplying the ultra-high-speed switches used in data centres that provide networking services. Within key use cases such as Hadoop clustering, Arista’s switches have outgunned Cisco, HPE, and Dell EMC in performance, resulting in a higher market share. Part of the reason for Arista’s edge is that it was quick to use merchant chips rather than its own custom chips. Arista has developed its own highly-rated device independent customised Linux EOS (Extensible Operating System).
Cisco – US
Cisco provides systems tailored to big data solutions, such as the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Common Platform Architecture (CPA), developed with partners IBM, SAS, Splunk, MapR, and others to offer specific points of integration. Cisco is now offering custom products to the big cloud providers, but their competitive edge is dwindling. As a result, Cisco has been focusing on other high-growth areas, such as pluggable optics for supporting faster network connectivity requirements.
Cloudera – US
Cloudera has focused on providing a suite of products constituting an enterprise data hub. Cloudera delivers a modern data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. Cloudera Enterprise helps customers capture, store, process and analyse vast amounts of data. Cloudera acquired Hortonworks in October 2018, and extended its partnership with IBM, to provide advanced AI and data solutions.
FICO – US
FICO caters to various industry verticals such as telecommunications, oil and gas, energy and utilities, insurance, healthcare, and others. In March 2019, FICO partnered with Equifax, a data analytics and technology company, to launch a new data and analytics suite called Data Decisions Cloud. Early in 2019, it launched a new version of FICO Xpress Insight, which enables data scientists to rapidly deploy any advanced analytics or optimisation model.
HPE – US
HPE sells a number of big data-specific hardware solutions including HPE Moonshot and HPE Converged System for big data. HPE’s Primera is a storage platform designed to deliver mission-critical applications. It acquired BlueData in December 2018, to offer AI and analytics products. HPE also paid $1.3bn for Crayand acquired MapR in August 2019 to enhance its storage and data analytics portfolio.
IBM – US
In recent years, IBM has invested in five key areas – AI, cybersecurity, IoT, cloud infrastructure, and blockchain. In 2018, it acquired Red Hat for $34bn, to elevate its standing in the highly coveted open source software (OSS) space. IBM also expanded its analytics solutions with the help of Red Hat’s cloud and data migration tools. To further its strength in the cloud and data centre markets, IBM introduced new hybrid cloud offerings in February 2019.
Intel – US
Intel, which missed out on the mobile revolution and seemed over-dependent on a slowing PC market, has been re-engineering itself via strategic acquisitions. In recent years, it has acquired Altera for $16bn, Mobileye for $15bn, Nervana for $350m, and Movidius for $380m (drones). In 2019, it bought Barefoot Networks and Omnitek. Intel hopes to leverage its prowess in chip integration and fabrication to open up new markets in self-driving cars, drones, AI, and data centers.
Micron – US
Micron is one of the leading producers of memory chips and a dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) pioneer. It co-developed 3D XPoint (next generation memory architecture which amalgamates DRAM with NAND) with Intel. Micron is a frequently cited M&A target following a pass made at it in 2015 by China’s Tsinghua Unigroup, which was stopped by the US Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) on national security grounds.
Microsoft – US
Microsoft continues to lose out to Linux, which has a lion’s share of market in the data centre operating system market. Its Azure cloud business is far more exciting as it is a major revenue generating stream for the company since the decline of the PC market. In the data centre operator market, Microsoft is focusing on IaaS over the public cloud. In support of big data use cases, Microsoft provides (via Azure) a vast array of services including data processing and storage, data warehousing, analytics, blockchain, and cognitive computing.
MicroStrategy – US
MicroStrategy is an enterprise BI application software vendor, capable of handling a wide array of data sources at scale. The big data ecosystem has a number of SQL engines (Hive, Impala, Drill, etc.) that allow users to pass SQL queries to big data sources, and analyse the data as they would with traditional relational databases. MicroStrategy also offers a method allowing users to import data directly from the Hadoop file system (HDFS).
Nvidia – US
Nvidia is the leader in graphics processing units (GPUs). Nvidia is successfully moving into some of the biggest themes in global tech, including training AI systems, cryptocurrency mining, autonomous vehicles, and AR. In March 2019, it acquired Mellanox for $6.9bn, to boost its data centre aspirations.
Oracle – US
Oracle offers a complete, end-to-end portfolio of big data solutions spanning both cloud and on-premise. These are offered as both horizontal platform technologies and as a part of the vendor’s substantial line of business applications. Oracle acquired DataFox in October 2018. The acquisition strengthened Oracle’s ability to provide its customers with enterprise-level data.
Salesforce – US
Salesforce is actively investing in big data, through its purchase of ClickSoftware for $1.4bn and Tableau Software for $15.7bn in 2019. The acquisitions will help Salesforce compete against Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Tableau will enhance Salesforce’s Customer 360 and analytics capabilities. Viewing analytics as capacity to expand its ecosystem, Salesforce introduced three Datorama-powered analytics tools in 2019.
SAP – Germany
SAP offers a broad range of big data solutions, enabling clients to process diverse, raw data efficiently. SAP continues to enhance its in-memory database platform (HANA) to create a differentiated and unified architecture for its data and analytics applications. In April 2019, it rolled out an update to its HANA database that features new data tiering options, persistent memory capabilities, intelligent recommendations for database management, and new machine learning capabilities.
Software AG – Germany
Software AG offers a number of supportive services surrounding data integration, IoT implementation, AI, and solution management. In 2018, Software AG acquired Built.io and TrendMiner to gain a foothold in the growing integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) market, while targeting manufacturing companies through visualisation of time series data.
TableauSoftware – US
In June 2019, Salesforce acquired Tableau for $15.7bn. As a data discovery and visualisation vendor, Tableau provides a clean visual analysis interface that makes working with big data more accessible for stakeholders. In 2018, Tableau introduced Tableau Prep, a data preparation tool, which enables users to prepare their data for analysis, and in February 2019 it expanded data preparation capabilities with the release of Tableau Prep Conductor, which enables organisations to schedule and manage self-service data preparation at scale.
Talend – US
Cloud and big data integration specialist Talend uses its big data platform to simplify complex integrations between Spark, Hadoop, NoSQL, and cloud resources. The platform features management and monitoring capabilities along with design and productivity tools and advanced data profiling services. In November 2018, it acquired Stitch, a cloud data integration platform, to help companies address data integration complexities.
VMware – US
VMware is a leader in hypervisor software that creates and runs virtual machines, virtualisation software and cloud service software. VMware has strengthened its data centre infrastructure through its hypervisor and cloud platforms and is expanding into virtual networks and storage. In 2018 VMware acquired Heptio, to help organisations deploy and operationalise Kubernetes. It also bought CloudHealth Technologies, to enable customers to analyse costs, usage, security, and performance centrally for native public clouds.
This is an edited extract from the Big data – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.