Advances in technology have made sharing loads of information both quick and easy. Companies around the globe are using technology to collect and analyze data about their businesses, customers, and competition. This trend in big data is on track to be a $53.4 billion market by 2017, according to Wikibon. And as the amount of data continues to swell, businesses will need more efficient ways to organize and manage that information. That's where TIBCO Software (Nasdaq: TIBX) comes into play.   

Product innovation
The tech company reaffirmed its strong position in the big data market yesterday with the release of its new software, ActiveSpaces. As an industry-first technology, Tibco's new software enables users to mine digital, social, and event data sources in real time. With ActiveSpaces, companies of all sizes can tap into information from a variety of streams to gain insight into customer behavior and industry trends.

The new feature should be a huge success for the company considering it works hand-in-hand with Spotfire, Tibco's business intelligence software. Together, these offerings will continue to drive growth for the company. Another huge advantage for Tibco is the fact that its products aren't limited to a single sector; in fact, the company currently licenses its software to global businesses across 10 distinct industries. In other words, Tibco operates in a lot of segments where growth is inevitable.

Fierce competition
Of course, you don't make it to the top without first challenging the gods. In this case, the Almighty is IBM (NYSE: IBM), with Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) the runner-up. These tech giants compete with Tibco on the infrastructure software front. But because both IBM and Oracle are much larger, they're able to provide a broader range of products than Tibco, and still have those products tie into their infrastructure offerings.  

Where TIBCO excels over the competition is by playing to the future. The company continues to invest heavily in research and development -- spending $143.2 million on R&D last year, up from $124.7 million in 2010. Products like Tibco's social networking platform, cloud middleware, and most recently ActiveSpaces focus on where the market is headed. If the company can stay focused on this strategy, it should continue to gain market share from bigger players like IBM.

The software maker is currently trading near a 52-week high around $32 with a P/E of 48. This could signal that much of the company's growth is already priced into the stock. However, I like Tibco's position within the middleware market and feel that it will be a standout performer in the years ahead. For these reasons, I'm giving the stock an outperform rating on my profile in Motley Fool CAPS. While I'm long on Tibco, it's not the only company cashing in on big data. Click here to find out what other stock is turning big data into big bucks in this free report from The Motley Fool: "The Only Stock You Need to Profit From the NEW Technology Revolution."