Big Data and Analytics Is Where the Growth Is in Tech

The technology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors these days. According to FactSet, the sector saw an average revenue growth rate of 4.9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, second only to the health care sector. The Internet software and services sub-sector recorded the fastest growth at 20%. Year-to-date, the tech sector's performance, as represented by the iShares US Technology ETF , has comfortably beaten the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

Adam Parker, head of Morgan Stanley's U.S. equity team, recently upgraded the tech sector from market weight (20%) to overweight (22%). He singled out big data and analytics as the tech sub-sector where the biggest growth will be found.

One of the biggest growers in this space has been Splunk , which provides software that enables companies to track, comb, and analyze data in real time. This software has wide applications, including the ability to track security-related activities in real time. Splunk operates alongside another newcomer, Tableau Software , as well as older heavyweights like International Business Machines, EMC , and Google, which runs BigQuery, a cloud-based data analytics tool.

Splunk is a relative newcomer to the market, having gone public in the spring of 2012. Like many other rapidly growing upstarts, the company does not have much in the way of earnings. But, its revenue has almost doubled in that short time, as huge buzz about the company's disruptive software helped push its market cap to $10 billion.

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