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The massive volumes of information generated and used for decision-making in business today fuel the booming business of data analytics and Big Data companies.


Big Data companies, combined with analytics technology, help businesses achieve valuable insights in many areas. Moreover, this includes in-depth customer research, product development, cost management and competitive analysis. Big Data also provides operational intelligence, enabling companies to investigate, monitor, analyze situations and then react and respond.

The application of data analytics affects organizations across practically every industry and takes an active part in developing strategies for their success.

For retailers, Big Data companies help them to get a better understanding of customers and the most effective ways to keep them coming back. In addition, manufacturers can solve problems faster and make more agile business decisions. Also, bankers use it to help minimize risk and fraud.

Data analytics and Big Data are complementary terms, hence the also-used phrase Big Data analytics.

Big Data Companies To Buy And Watch

The list of Big Data companies continues to grow. Leaders in the field include MongoDB (MDB), Elastic (ESTC), Workiva (WK) and Splunk (SPLK). Big data companies can specialize in various areas, including data mining and cleaning, data analysis, machine data, visualization and storage.

The Big Data trend has also fueled an expansion of initial public offerings for investors to check out. Recent Big Data IPOs include Alteryx (AYX), Cloudera (CLDRTalend (TLND) and New Relic (NEWR). Splunk was among the first to come public.

What Is Big Data?

Big Data describes huge volumes of data that flood a business on a daily basis, coming from an ever-growing variety of sources. It typically describes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of traditional data processing software tools to capture, process and curate in a timely fashion.

The data creation and gathering process comes from sources that include wholesale or retail transactions, e-commerce data, shipping, audio and video logs, text messaging, internet search queries, satellite imagery and GPS data, as well as stock-market activity and financial transactions. Data is also flooding in from the Internet of Things.

The vast amounts and various types of information collected enable Big Data companies to approach the market in different ways and specialize in specific areas.

What Is Data Analytics?

Data analytics is the method of extracting and analyzing all manner of data in order to draw conclusions about the information. In addition, it uncovers hidden patterns or unknown correlations within the data, or discovers emerging market trends and customer preferences.

But data analytics is not necessarily applicable just to Big Data. Data analytics can apply to most types of processing that analyze data, but as the size of organizational data grows, the term data analytics is evolving to favor Big Data-capable systems.

Moreover, the field of data analytics is growing fast, driven by market demand for systems that tolerate the intense requirements of Big Data.

A Primer On Big Data Stocks

There is substantial opportunity for investing in Big Data companies. Here’s a rundown on some of the stocks.


MongoDB provides an open-source database platform for businesses, with a subscription-based software-as-a-service business model.

It reported fiscal third-quarter results after the close on Dec. 8.

Revenue grew 38% o $150.8 million, smashing expectations of $138.8 million. It reported an adjusted loss of 31 cents. Wall Street expected a 41-cent loss.

The company has yet to show a profit but revenue keeps growing at a double-digit pace each quarter. MongoDB stock is up about 170% this year.


Splunk provides intelligence software designed to help organizations search, correlate, analyze, monitor and report on data in real time. The software is geared to analyze vast amounts of historical information. They specialize on machine-data applications.

Splunk stock took a big hit when the company reported third-quarter results on Dec.3 that missed Wall Street estimates by a wide margin, demonstrating the growing competition in the field. Revenue of $559 million missed Wall Street estimates of $613 million. It reported an adjusted loss of 7-cents per share, vs. estimates of a 9-cent profit.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, Splunk expects revenue in the range of $650 million to $700 million. Wall Street expected $777 million.

The company is undergoing a cloud transition to a software-as-a-service business model as it faces increased competition.

Splunk reported lower-than-expected bookings and annual recurring revenue due to a drop in the rate of closing deals, especially large-sized transactions. That was partly due to pandemic uncertainty, the company said.


Incorporated in the Netherlands and based in Mountain View, Calif., Elastic says its search technology finds information and insights from large amounts of data, available for a diverse set of applications and use cases.

Elastic recently reported fiscal second-quarter results, for the period ended Oct. 31, that topped estimates. Revenue jumped 43% to $144.9 million, vs. expectations of $130.5 million. It reported an adjusted loss of 3 cents. Wall Street expected a loss of 20 cents.

The company uses a cloud-based, software-as-a-service business model. It has 12,900 subscribers, which accounted for 93% of total revenue in the quarter.

Elastic expects fiscal third-quarter sales in the range of $145 million to $147.0 million, above Wall Street views of $139.8 million.

Elastic stock is up about 132% this year.


Workiva offers a cloud-based and mobile-enabled platform used by companies to collect, analyze and manage business data. Customers use Workiva’s software to streamline complex business and reporting processes by connecting teams, documents and data from initial sources to final reports. Its platform enables the collection of data across finance, accounting and risk management for compliance reporting.

Revenue for its third quarter climbed 19% to $88 million. In addition, it reported adjusted earnings of 4 cents per share, up 133%. It has more than 3,580 customers. The company also raised its guidance for its fourth quarter.

“The global trends of online collaboration and remote work continue to benefit Workiva,” said Chief Executive Martin Vanderploeg, during the earnings conference call. “In the third quarter, we saw broad demand across key solutions, particularly in global statutory reporting, management reporting and capital markets.”

Workiva stock has more than doubled this year.

Be sure to read IBD’s after-the-close The Big Picture column each day to make sure growth investors have a green light. Also, check out IBD Stock Lists and other IBD content to find dozens more of the best stocks to buy or watch.

In addition, The IBD Big Cap 20 index offers a selection of the very best large-cap stocks.

Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.


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