When it comes to strategic planning in 2016, there is arguably no bigger driving force than the need to adopt technology.

For businesses looking to invest in big data this year, there are some key things to consider before taking the plunge.

Can big data be a catalyst for change?

A whitepaper from Frost & Sullivan highlighted the immense potential of the information available, stating that we may never fully realise the benefits of this source.

Roberta Gamble, partner of Frost & Sullivan, explained the importance of businesses properly utilising the growing amounts of data.

"Most organisations recognise that there is significant value in the massive amount of data streaming in from disparate sources," she said. "However, many still struggle with separating critical information from the noise and how to extract actionable intelligence."

One of the areas the report highlighted was machine-to-machine analytics. Extracting and communicating between each element in a system efficiently can be a huge source of competitive advantage. However, businesses must consider the quality of their IT infrastructure and whether they have the personnel to collate, process and analyse this data.

How far are companies progressing?

According to a survey from Tech Pro Research, 30 per cent of companies have implemented big data into their operations, a major leap from the same period in 2013.

In order to increase this uptake, another familiar trend could be utilised in tandem for better data collection. The Internet of Things (IoT) has seen a lot of popularity in its own right and 26 per cent of companies are exploring the possibility of using this method for collecting information. A further 29 per cent currently marry the IoT into big data for more efficient operations and to make better decisions.