SINGAPORE: Companies in Asia Pacific are set to ramp up their expenditure on big data services, a trend showing the region's growing importance to brand owners, a study has argued.

IDC, the insights provider, estimated in a new report that the sector would increase in size across Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) from $259m in 2011 to $1.8bn in 2016.

The core drivers of this process will include the area's "unique traits", such as the large number of major cities which serve as "population megacentres" in nations like China and India.

Similarly, the "fluid" regulatory climate surrounding data sharing, and the highly distributed nature of manufacturing facilities, are likely to prompt greater investment levels.

"Big data creates new opportunities for data analytics in finance, network analysis, human genomics, healthcare, surveillance, and many other areas," said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, a programme manager at IDC.

"Business use cases with measurable results include real-time crime prevention in financial services, and peer influencer mapping for churn prevention in telecommunications."

The highest growth rate is set to be recorded by the data storage segment, up by 56.1%, ahead of networking on 55.8% and services on 48.3%, the analysis argued.

Firms must also meet certain challenges in several fields, relating to security, governance and talent management, none of which should not be underestimated.

"Big data requires organisations to rethink their technology architectures, processes, and skill sets in order to attain the real value of this phenomenon," said Jimenez.

"Organisations that have already developed an effective business analytics program are positioned to be the first adopters of big data technology and approaches."

Indeed, as the study stated it may be two to three years before the market really gains traction, corporations making such moves now could gain a "competitive advantage" lasting 12 to 18 months.

Data sourced from IDC; additional content by Warc staff