Big Data and Analytics: A Major Opportunity for Massachusetts
As reported in today's Boston Globe, MassTLC has identified Big Data and Analytics as a major opportunity for Massachusetts, possibly on the scale of the 1990's software industry growth or the later telecom and Internet boom. The Council has identified more than 100 firms and 70,000 people employed in the field, and estimates the sector could grow by another 50,000 jobs in Massachusetts by 2018.
Massachusetts has become a major hub for companies that create and use "big data" and analytics technologies, a burgeoning technology sector that is expected to continue its explosive growth over the rest of the decade. In fact, the growing emergence of Massachusetts "big data" companies combined with deep university expertise in database management technology, and the presence of both established and startup technology firms give the state the opportunity to become the global economic hub for big data and analytics by the end of the decade.
According to the report, the proliferation of data generated by humans (e.g., text, voice, video) and machines (e.g., GPS, RFID, medical sensors), combined with social and other unstructured communications (e.g., social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn) is creating vast data opportunities, and a wave of new companies, to analyze and extract greater insight and economic value from this deluge of information.
"The Big Data sector is flying largely under the radar right now but this report makes it clear that it could our state's next big tech sector," said Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO of MassTLC. "If investments in this area continue at their current rate, we could see job gains approaching the scale of the early 1990's software industry growth or the later telecom and Internet boom."
According to the report, Massachusetts has all the elements necessary for success: a history of expertise in fields related to Big Data (including storage, security, and traditional data analytics); proven giants such as IBM, Oracle and Google already making Massachusetts investments in this field through acquisitions of companies such as Netezza, Endeca and ITA Software; a venture capital community with strong data analytics expertise; a vibrant academic research community, and a wealth of start-ups, such as Kyruus, Ginger.io, Paradigm4 and VoltDB, already gaining traction in the market.
"Massachusetts has 'Data DNA', a robust group of startups and established companies, as well as the presence of such complementary industries as healthcare, financial services, life sciences, consumer products, and on-line media" said Steve O'Leary, a co-founder of Aeris Partners and co-chairman of the MassTLC Research Committee. "We're in great position to lead, but we should be aware that other regions, most notably Silicon Valley, are moving quickly into this space."
The report identifies more than one hundred Massachusetts Big Data and analytics companies that currently employ some 12,000 workers. A variety of industries -- notably some of the state's biggest employers like healthcare, life sciences, aerospace & defense and financial services -- will increasingly utilize data analytics to grow their businesses. These Big Data users currently represent a complementary employment base of some 58,000 already using Big Data tools and results, for a total of 70,000 currently employed in Big Data jobs.
With its early start, the report estimates that Massachusetts is poised to see its big data workforce (including those creating analytics technology tools and applications within vendor companies as well as data scientists and data managers using analytics technology in healthcare, financial services, and other sectors) could grow to 120,000 jobs by 2018 -- if the region capitalizes on its early lead.
Download the Report -- Big Data and Analytics: A Major Opportunity for Massachusetts
Hard copies of the report will be made available at the Council’s 2nd Annual Big Data Summit on February 15 in Cambridge, MA (see www.masstlc.org for details). Read highlights from MassTLC's 2011 Big Data Summit by the Wall Street Journal.
The Summit will serve as the kick-off of MassTLC's Big Data Cluster.