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Big Data as a Service (BDaaS) refers to cloud hosted services that let businesses outsource the analysis of their big data rather than investing in the costs involved in doing it themselves.  A major big data initiative would typically involve upfront costs for all of the components and infrastructure, as well as the ongoing costs of storing, managing, and analyzing the streams of data that continuously pour in.  BDaaS providers supply everything the business will need – the business just rents the use of the cloud storage and the analytics engines.   The BDaaS providers handle all of the compliance and data protection requirements.

As with other cloud-based managed services, BDaaS relies on cloud storage to offer the clients ongoing access their data.  BDaaS has already proven to be a good option for organizations who were unable to afford the expense of a traditional big data initiative but had much to gain from the business insights locked inside the raw data.  A range of services and functions are available that can include a web dashboard that lets a business owner login and analyze their data and the opportunity to purchase reports prepared by professional analysis.  Some BDaaS providers will offer consulting services as part of their packages.

Highly targeted BDaaS services have emerged that provide one very useful and popular offering – for example, in 2015 IBM launched a BDaaS service called Analytics for Twitter, which supplies the analytical tools to understand the complex unstructured data flowing in every day from Twitter tweets.  Google AdWords is another example of a BDaaS offering that provides targeted niche-marketing in web browsers.