International Data Corporation and O'Reilly, two heavy hitters in the IT data and analysis space, each recently released reports on Big Data. For those in the cloud space, Big Data is quickly becoming a household term, so the timing of the reports couldn't be better.

First, IDC unveiled its first worldwide Big Data technology and services forecast, in which the firm projects the Big Data market will be worth $16.9 billion in 2015. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent from 2010.

O’Reilly, meanwhile, published a tech paper titled, "Planning for Big Data," which the firm bills as report for “anybody wanting to understand and use big data.” Its release, available a free download, comes on the heels of O’Reilly's Strata Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Feb. 28-March 1, which brought together specialists in the emerging Big Data arena.

IDC defines Big Data as “a new generation of technologies and architectures designed to extract value economically from very large volumes of a wide variety of data by enabling high-velocity capture, discovery, and/or analysis.” The study, titled "Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012-2015 Forecast," divides the Big Data market into server, storage, networking, software and services segments.

"The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and startups vie for customers and market share," said Dan Vesset, IDC vice president of Business Analytics Solutions. "For technology buyers, opportunities exist to use Big Data technology to improve operational efficiency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.” Vesset also noted that already more than $500 million in venture capital has been invested in Big Data technology.

Additional findings from the IDC report include:

  • "The growth in appliances, Cloud, and outsourcing deals for Big Data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments.”

  • “Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions.”

O’Reilly’s Planning For Big Data report was written by its Radar subject experts and addresses:

  • “Broad industry changes heralded by the big data era”

  • “What big data is, what it means to your business, and how to start solving data problems”

  • “The software that makes up the Hadoop big data stack, and the major enterprise vendors' Hadoop solutions”

  • “The landscape of NoSQL databases and their relative merits”

  • “How visualization plays an important part in data work”