Nearly three-quarters of mid-sized to large businesses say they will launch big data projects within the next 12 months, according to a recent Microsoft study.
The study found that 72 percent of those surveyed are already planning to implement big data into their business, with 51 percent saying they are already well on their way to deploying solutions.
"It's an inevitable reality of our new world that more and more data is being generated," said general manager of product marketing for Microsoft SQL Server Eron Kelly.
"Those able to derive insights from that data will make better decisions and will be more efficient, and they'll move whatever agenda it is that they have forward much faster than those that don't."
Of those surveyed, 62 percent said developing near-real-time predictive analytics for big data within the next two years was extremely important. Another 58 percent reported that expanding data storage infrastructure was a key area of importance.
According to Microsoft's study, 62 percent of respondents reported that they store at least 100TB of usable data. Approximately 32 percent of those surveyed said they expect that number to double within the next two years.
"Microsoft believes that big data has the power to drive practical insights that just weren't possible before," corporate vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise and Partner Group, Susan Hauser.
"It's about managing all that data and providing tools that enable everyone to answers questions - questions they might not have even known they had. That's the vision we have."
Respondents ranked customer care, sales, finance, and marketing as the biggest sectors in need of a strong big data analytics offering. About 41 percent of those surveyed ranked customer care as the sector most in need of big data insights.
Around 26 percent ranked sales as the number one place for big data insights. Meanwhile, 23 percent ranked finance and marketing as key sectors for big data insights.
Redmond's big data study comes from a survey of 280 large to mid-sized IT companies in the US..