Summer is finally here. Temperatures are soaring throughout Europe, and the valuation of data analytics companies have risen too. With the purchase of Tableau by Salesforce and Looker by Google [the total of both deals came in at a staggering US$19 billion] the collection and interpretation of information held by businesses is proven to be the next piece of the big data jigsaw puzzle.

In the Fourth Industrial evolution (4IR), it’s the mastery of the three Vs (volume, velocity and variety) of data which will deliver the competitive advantage boardrooms crave. Businesses are bringing together from the information they have from physical and digital worlds so they can improve top-line and bottom-line operations.

Although moving and storing data from every IoT endpoint, enterprise application and cloud service is complex, the analysis and interpretation of data by non-tech savvy business analysts should not be a challenge. Looker and Tableau’s rise to success is down to offering tremendous simplicity for those to interpret data without being tech-savvy.

There are nuances behind these two acquisitions which will help support Google and Salesforce’s growth. Google is aggressively building out its cloud capabilities and its purchase only adds to the impressive ecosystem which already includes Confluent, Redis Labs and DataStax and provides a point of differentiation against AWS and Microsoft Azure.

For Salesforce, the CRM pioneer is now enabling its users to directly do data analytics either on premise or in the cloud. Yes, you’ve read this correctly, Salesforce, who infamously marketed itself as an anti-software company, has admitted the future is in the hybrid cloud.

History tends to repeat itself in the IT industry as in the early 2000's when Hyperion and BusinessObjects got snapped up, these acquisitions show that now, more than ever, data is a massive differentiator.

For the current arms race, overstretched IT teams are looking for one, central platform to collect, analyse and prepare data. While the technology might be here, businesses need to first overcome the internal chaos caused by the mishmash of various IT systems. IT Analyst IDC expects worldwide revenue for big data and business analytics solutions to reach US$260 billion in 2022. This is good news for companies and investors operating in those categories and it’s time to make hay while the sun shines on this sector.

Today, every major cloud provider has a data analytics service. This was not the case a month ago and this makes the category an interesting spectacle. Time will tell on impact of the recent acquisitions made by Salesforce and Google, but competitive (re)positioning and the execution of the messaging are crucial to winning the new arms race.

We helped our client Mindtree, with a sizeable business unit supporting Salesforce users, provide its point of view on leading UK publications ComputerWorld UK and Information Age.

Our Enterprise Tech team at Hotwire has a rich experience positioning some of the best-known established and challenger businesses in the data analytics category. If you would like some candid advice over an iced coffee or summer cocktail, please get in touch with me via edward.stevenson@hotwireglobal.com