More data is being collected from more sources faster than ever before. Hidden within this massive amount of information are valuable insights that can be of great benefit to businesses in areas such as customer research, product development, cost management, and competitive analysis, among many others. Big data is a booming market -- one that's projected to exceed $150 billion by 2026, according to research company Stratistics MRC.

Businesses that can harness and decipher this crucial information will have a distinct advantage over competitors that fail to do so. In turn, companies that can help organizations effectively aggregate and analyze this data should enjoy booming demand for their services in the years ahead.

Yet one business, perhaps more than any other, stands at the epicenter of this tidal wave of data.

Tangled lines flowing through a digital cloud and emerging as straight lines

Image source: Getty Images.

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) is a titan in the cloud software market. The $110 billion behemoth is the undisputed leader in customer relationship management software, with a market share that's more than that of its three closest rivals combined.

Salesforce has long been at the forefront of the big-data revolution. The company long ago recognized the capacity of artificial intelligence (AI) to help businesses harvest actionable insights from all forms of data. Salesforce has used acquisitions to bolster its AI arsenal, and it now offers some of the most advanced AI solutions among enterprise software providers.

"Customers, no matter what industry, no matter what geography, no matter what size company, want insights," said co-CEO Keith Block on Salesforce's second-quarter earnings call. Salesforce has positioned itself as perhaps the premier supplier of this information; the company delivers more than 4 billion AI-powered predictions to its customers every day. In turn, Salesforce's AI leadership is helping it gain share in an enterprise application-software market that's projected to grow to more than $275 billion by 2022, according to research company Gartner.

A powerful new growth driver

Of all Salesforce's acquisitions, MuleSoft may be the most important. Salesforce paid $6.5 billion in 2018 to acquire MuleSoft's best-in-class data integration technology, which helps companies bring together massive amounts of data from many different sources. Less than a year later, it's already beginning to look like MuleSoft may have been an incredible bargain.

Block highlighted how MuleSoft is helping Salesforce win new business at a rapid clip during the company's Q2 call: "As more and more companies connect everything and everyone, they're realizing that integration is vital to their success and to their digital transformation, and now they're turning to Salesforce MuleSoft, the No. 1 integration cloud, to do it."

Block again touted the deal's benefits during Salesforce's third-quarter earnings call: "And speaking of MuleSoft, integration has become a strategic imperative for all of our customers. It has captured the attention of C-level executives in virtually every conversation I have," he said.

Together with Salesforce's highly regarded AI capabilities, MuleSoft's data integration solutions make the combined company extremely well-positioned to profit from the big-data boom.

Check out the latest Salesforce earnings call transcript.