IBM is acquiring Vivisimo, a developer of data discovery and navigation applications that will expand IBM's software offerings for analysing big data.
The Vivisimo technology provides data federation capabilities that let analysts access and analyse large volumes of structured and unstructured data spread out across multiple repositories without moving and consolidating it.
IBM said that capability would further enable customers to leverage big data to understand customer behavior, for example, and detect fraud in realtime, among other applications.
IDC has forecast that the market for big data technology and services is growing at an annual rate of almost 40 percent and will reach $US16.9 billion by 2015.
"Navigating big data to uncover the right information is a key challenge for all industries," said Arvind Krishna, general manager, Information Management, IBM Software Group, in a statement. "The winners in the era of big data will be those who unlock their information assets to drive innovation, make realtime decisions, and gain actionable insights to be more competitive."
Vivisimo is the latest of 30 acquisitions IBM has made in recent years in the business analytics space, including Cognos, SPSS, Netezza, Coremetrics, Algorithmics, DemandTec and Emptoris.
Last week IBM acquired Varicent, a supplier of data analysis software for front-end business operations such as sales and finance. IBM also has committed to spending $US100 billion on research and development for big data analysis technology.
In addition, IBM said Wednesday that it will expand its big data platform software to run on third-party distributions of Apache Hadoop, starting with the Cloudera distribution.
IBM did not disclose how much it is paying for Pittsburgh-based Vivisimo. Once the acquisition is complete Vivisimo's 120 employees will join IBM's Software Group, the company said.