Splunk, which specializes in delivering a data platform for “machine data,” is approaching a turning point. The explosion of sensory data – part of the Big Data phenomenon – is pulling the company in different directions. With a base as the data platform for IT systems management and security programs, Splunk could expand to other forms of machine data such as smart public infrastructure. Or, as implied by the recruitment of key product executives from SAP and Oracle, it could venture higher up the value chain, developing more business-focused solutions around this competency. Either way, Splunk must choose its targets carefully. As a $150–$200m company, it can’t be all things. Splunk is already promoting itself as an operational intelligence platform that provides quick visibility of trends from low-level data. However, Ovum believes that the company could get more mileage in the market by positioning itself as an analytics platform that focuses on the velocity aspect of Big Data: Fast Data.