Whenever someone Tweets, posts a photo or video on Facebook, or uses their GPS-enable mobile device to get directions, they're creating data. Data is proliferating so quickly, that IBM estimates 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the past two years alone.
Mining this data for new insights and undiscovered relationships has created demand for new software and solutions.
Market research firm Gartner expects that "big data" will drive $28 billion in IT spending worldwide this year and $34 billion next year. (Read More: Playing With Big Data.)
"Despite the hype, big data is not a distinct, standalone market, but represents an industry-wide market force which must be addressed in products, practices and solution delivery," Mark Beyer, research vice president at Gartner, said in a press release.