GlobalData: Salesforce’s $15.7bn purchase of Tableau proves Big Data is the next big thing for M&A

By Laura Mullan
Big Data is a key theme driving merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, according to data analytics and media company GlobalData. This can be seen b...

Big Data is a key theme driving merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, according to data analytics and media company GlobalData.

This can be seen by Salesforce’s recent acquisition of data visualisation firm Tableau for $15.7bn. 

Speaking to Gigabit magazine, Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky outlined how “a lot of organisations are going to get crushed under the weight of that data whilst many others are going to see brand new opportunities to develop insights and make better decisions based on all of that data”. 

“Regardless of whether your organisation sees data as a problem or an opportunity, there's an urgent need for analytical capabilities to deal with it, and again, to make better decisions faster,” he said.

The acquisition came shortly after Google bought analytics company, Looker, or $2.6bn in June. 


Recent estimates from the IBC suggest that between now and 2025, the amount of data in the world that's subject to analysis is going to grow 50-fold and so Big Data is a key theme to watch out for in the M&A space. 

GlobalData’s recent Thematic Research has identified Big Data as one of more than 50 key themes impacting the technology sector over the next two years; the firm says that Big Data will help to drive M&A activity in the sector. 

Ed Thomas, Principal Analyst in GlobalData’s Technology Thematic Research team, said: “The data analytics acquisition trail may now see further activity with companies such as Domo and Alteryx becoming potential M&A targets as those vendors that need to beef up their data analysis capabilities find the pool of available data specialists to acquire dwindling.

“The challenge for enterprises is not collecting data – data is not scarce, nor is it difficult to extract – but deriving actionable insights from the wealth of information that they accumulate on a daily basis. This is where big data technologies come in, with their ability to handle extremely large, diverse datasets that, when analyzed, can reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interaction.

“Companies who invest in the right themes, such as big data, become success stories while those who miss the big themes end up either falling behind their competitors or failing altogether.”


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