Analytics are top of mind these days, and they have become a priority for both IT and business professionals. As data continues to proliferate and fill the world's storage, whether on-premise or cloud, businesses need a way to track and analyze that data. Increasingly, they're looking to cloud-based offerings to help solve the problem. And the market for cloud-based business analytics is booming.

According to a new report from MarketandMarkets, the cloud analytics market and its related sub-markets will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8 percent over the next five years. By 2018, that means the overall cloud business analytics market will total $16.52 billion. That's a huge number no matter how you look at it, but compared to today's market value of $5.25 billion, it's clear the industry is expecting a spectacular increase.

MarketsandMarkets noted the cloud-based business analytics market is being driven by emerging trends in big data and cloud computing technology. Over the last two years, businesses have been shifting their analytics to the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability of cloud technologies.

At the same time, the research firm wrote, "traditional business intelligence and analytics solutions are striving to meet the requirements of today's business needs. Enterprises are struggling with high operating costs, lack of IT expertise and increasing employee mobility."

The solution? Of course, it's the cloud. When traditional IT isn't meeting the needs of businesses, business and IT leaders look for an alternative. And with the growing number of cloud-based analytics services popping up in the market, perhaps it's of little surprise to learn the market is going to be increasing exponentially.

Because businesses are struggling with problems like high operating costs, lack of IT expertise and increasing employee mobility, BI vendors have been forced to look for new and innovative ways of delivering analytics, MarketsandMarkets noted. Cloud analytics delivered in a SaaS model seems to be the direction the industry is heading.