Big Data Means Big Deals

For a long time, big data has meant big business. In the first quarter of 2016, big data alone accounted for an estimated 70 per cent of M&A activity, according to a survey conducted by EY.

UK companies in particular have been extremely active, accounting for 40 per cent of EMEA deal volume and 14 per cent of value. Among these deals US companies have proved to be key targets, accounting for 22 per cent of deals by UK buyers and 73 per cent of UK acquired value. The big data market has pivoted from a focus around new features and products to mature offerings that deliver immediate business impact, and with such strong figures it is little wonder that data is being touted as the new oil. We take a look at the main areas of big data that are attracting a lot of M&A interest.

Real-Time Technology

High demand for real-time technologies has continued from businesses that are looking for instant information available at their fingertips. We can expect to see more real-time streaming technology that will deliver key data to aid business critical decision-making.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is the broad term used for anything that we want connected to the internet that collects data. We have seen IoT spark unprecedented M&A activity, not only in terms of the number of deals and spending (approximately $21bn in M&A volume in 2015), but in the variety of buyers; from Google to Accenture to GE and Cargill, a wide range of potential buyers are searching for unique IoT technologies and solutions. The most successful organisations will be those who can create databases that are optimised for different types of IoT data, or who build tools that are less operationally complex for managing different types of data.

Big Deals

In October 2015, IBM paid more than $1.3bn in cash to acquire Cleversafe Inc., adding data-storage software that works for both public and private cloud-computing systems.

Microsoft announced its acquisition of Revolution Analytics, the maker of a distribution of the R programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics, in April 2015 for an undisclosed amount. Microsoft officials said that they planned to integrate R and Revolution’s technology into its data platform products running both on premise and in the public cloud, and also hybrid-cloud arrangements.

In a deal rumoured to be worth approximately $400 million, Oracle purchased BlueKai, an industry leading cloud-based data platform that enables companies to personalise online, offline and mobile marketing campaigns with richer and more actionable information about targeted audiences. Subsequently, the deal provided Oracle with access to a database of more than 700 million profiles.

The Future of Big Data

Increased M&A activity in big data solutions will see tech and non-tech companies alike seek new data sources to feed their analytics capabilities, particularly where machine learning technologies are involved. On the whole, these deals are being driven by a buy vs. build mentality, which means that we will likely see more cases of a financial services company buying a data streaming vendor, for example, and the acquisition of these new capabilities will allow organisations to make use of a growing number of automation tools.

With experience in a number of key sectors and representation throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, Benchmark International can connect you with the right opportunity. To find out more, visit

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