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(Image: Christopher Badzioch/iStockphoto)

(Image: Christopher Badzioch/iStockphoto)

Big data and analytics are hot growth areas, not only for IT organizations, but for businesses across all industries.

Visionary executives are finding opportunities beyond existing and traditional data repositories, such as on-premises CRM and ERP systems. Today's data can include social media posts, customer journey information, Internet of things (IoT) data, and more.

Indeed, market research firm IDC released a new prediction for the market in November 2015. The firm said the big data technology and services market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% over the 2014-2019 forecast period, with annual spending reaching $48.6 billion in 2019.

"The ever-increasing appetite of businesses to embrace emerging big data-related software and infrastructure technologies while keeping the implementation costs low has led to the creation of a rich ecosystem of new and incumbent suppliers," said Ashish Nadkarni, IDC program director, enterprise servers and storage, in a prepared statement. Nadkarni co-authored the IDC report with Dan Vesset, program VP, business analytics & big data. "At the same time, the market opportunity is spurring new investments and M&A activity as incumbent suppliers seek to maintain their relevance by developing comprehensive solutions and new go-to-market paths."

[Thinking about jumping ship for a startup? Read 10 Signs You're Not Cut Out To Work At A Startup.]

And there are plenty of new suppliers. Collecting that data, storing it, gaining insights from it, and turning those insights into real business value is the focus of many of today's hottest startup companies.

In fact, there are so many new companies dedicated to big data and analytics that there are venture capital firms and funds dedicated to big data startups. Events, such as the Startup Showcase at Strata + Hadoop World, provide a venue for these fresh new companies to network and gain exposure.

Plenty of past success stories come out of these funds and showcases. For instance, a past Strata + Hadoop Startup Showcase winner was Infoactive, since renamed Tableau. This data visualization vendor completed a very successful IPO in 2013, and now has customers that include the Texas Rangers, EMC, Box, Citibank, and Arby's.

With that in mind, we put together a collection of some of the most notable companies, and also some of the newest companies spawned in the big data and analytics market. Once you've had a look, tell us which of these you find most interesting, and why, in the comments section below.

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