Bill Gates wants it. So does Eric Schmidt (the CEO of Google).
Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs wanted it badly – before he tragically passed away last year.
The CEO of Oracle (Larry Ellison) has it. So does John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco. But they both want more.
Because everybody wants more Big Data.
It's one of the most popular buzz words in corporate America over the past two years. Every CEO wants a Big Data solution, but nobody knows exactly what that is.
In fact, you may think you don't know what it is either. But I'll bet you're well aware of the problem.
If you’ve ever waited for a slow internet connection, had a dropped cell phone call, or been stuck in line when a credit card machine went down – you know the importance of good, reliable data infrastructure.
The Big Data problem is that there is so much digital information floating around that it cloggs up the sytsem. So there’s a huge unfulfilled market for services that help companies make sense of this data.
At least not yet, and that's actually a good thing. It means it's still early in an evolving industry, so the right investments can reap huge rewards.
It's likely we're at (or at least near) the inflection point where Big Data analysis will become a “must do” for most companies. It's believed that organizing and analyzing Big Data will help (i.e., provide growth opportunities) a lot more than it can hurt (i.e., become wasted IT spending).
Consider the business functions of multi-billion dollar companies like financial services company Broadridge Financial (NYSE:BR), healthcare provider United Health Group (NYSE: UNH) and consumer goods company Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG).
All of these companies generate massive amounts of digital data (and they all happen to be customers of a company I just recommended to Small Cap Investor PRO subscribers.).
But they also consume a ton of incoming data. Social media, mobile and cloud computing add another layer of complexity … and opportunity.
If organized and analyzed together, these numbers can help companies make better business decisions.
For example, a 2011 report from McKinsey & Company suggests that retailers can expand their operating margins by as much as 60% if they use Big Data effectively.
That's a pretty attractive carrot.
Because Big Data has become such big business, everyone is getting into the market – from the mega-players such as IBM (NYSE:IBM) and SAP (NYSE:SAP) down to such relative newcomers as Splunk (Nasdaq:SPLK) and Qlik Technologies (Nasdaq:QLIK).
Some small companies will absolutely explode in share price if their solution provides what the market wants and needs. These companies will be prime acquisition targets for the big players, like IBM and SAP, who will want to provide end-to-end Big Data solutions for their clients.
These tiny players are where investors can make a huge amount of money, but they represent high-risk, high-reward opportunities.
I've just started sending subscribers Big Data recommendations, beginning with a very specific play on the broader Big Data theme. In the coming months I'll be sending more ideas your way.
I don't like every Big Data stock out there, but now that the broader market has begun to pull back a few names look to have nice upside potential.
Tyler Laundon, MBA