Investing in Socially Responsible Companies: Splunk

How Splunk is using big data to create real social change.

Tamara Walsh
Tamara Walsh
Oct 28, 2014 at 5:30PM
Technology and Telecom

Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK) is much more than a data analytics and software company. In addition to providing software products, Splunk is helping communities harness the power of big data and create projects that have a lasting social impact. The company's commitment to making a difference through data has made it a favorite among top mutual funds that specialize in Socially Responsible Investing or SRI.

Investing in socially responsible stocks is a popular strategy today that aims to find companies with a balance between both solid financial returns and social good. In fact, socially responsible investing has grown tremendously in recent years with roughly $3.74 trillion in total managed assets today, according to Forbes. One of the ways to invest in socially responsible companies is to find businesses that align with your values. With that in mind, let's see how Splunk stacks up as a possible SRI for long-term investors.

Solid corporate values
Unlike many other companies in the Software Industry, Splunk continues to strengthen its core values through corporate social responsibility programs such as Splunk4Good. Through this initiative, Splunk is showing the world how data can have a positive social impact in a variety of outlets. Splunk's newly launched eRegulations Insights, for example, is a Splunk4Good project that collects and organizes public data related to regulations and legislative proposals submitted through

"Many of these metrics have never before been easily available to the public or regulators," according to Splunk. This project is important because it aims to help improve government transparency and promote public participation in Federal rulemaking. Moreover, this isn't the only Splunk4Good project that is making the world a better place today.

Non-profit licensing
Splunk makes the bulk of its revenue through licensing fees from new and existing customers. However, the company lives up to its reputation for being a socially responsible business by offering free non-profit licenses for organizations worldwide that have budgets below $1 million annually. Some of the nonprofit organizations now benefiting from Splunk's free licensing initiative include the JQuery Project, MusicBrainz, and Hospice of Medina.

In addition to this, Splunk has worked with individuals and communities to help track fundraising efforts for a variety of charities and causes. Last month, Splunk4Good sponsored the Open Humanitarian Initiative Code Sprint with the goal of revolutionizing how data and information is shared between organizations during disaster relief and humanitarian efforts. These are just a few of the many ways that Splunk is using its expertise of data to improve society. Indirectly, these initiatives also help build public awareness of Splunk's software and product offerings. This has translated into steady revenue growth for the company in recent quarters.

In fact, Splunk's revenue climbed 52% to $101.5 million in the second quarter, which beat analysts' estimates. Quarterly profit of a penny per share also topped expectations for the period. Licensing revenues were another bright spot in the quarter, up 44% over last year at $62.1 million. On top of this, Splunk added 500 new customers in the quarter bringing its total customer base to 7,900 clients worldwide.

These results demonstrate that Splunk knows how to create shareholder value, while also dedicating resources to social responsibility -- especially in respect to promoting open access to data for public good. For these reasons, Splunk is undoubtedly one of the most socially responsible investments available to investors today.