'Speed of thought' analytical capabilities can preserve precious production uptime and could lead mining operations to the frontier of efficiency using Big Data.

That's according to a new Deloitte report which has revealed three key trends which are strengthening Big Data's claim as a driver of business productivity and competitive advantage.

What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5, and i7?

According to Deloitte, Australian industry has revealed a surprising lead candidate for Big Data adoption -- mining.

Already comfortable with a large volume of data and with clear drivers to increase automation, mining also has less need to interpret a variety of unstructured consumer data such as social media sentiment.

The mining industry has one standout Big Data challenge: velocity.

Deloitte consulting partner Tim Nugent the business case for real-time operational insight was easy to make when minutes of downtime equate to millions in losses," he said.

"Other industries with intricate supply chains also continue to shift to data-driven decision making processes, as well as customer insights. This will unlock a new generation of business intelligence."

In many cases, the cost of Big Data analytics is clearer than its benefits.

However, Big Data products are addressing this challenge in innovative ways such as building bridges to more traditional business intelligence and analytical tools.

This reduces integration costs and the burden on employers of reskilling employees and hiring specialised labour.

Nugent said competitive forces are driving vendors to take these barriers lower still.

"Organisations increasingly want to look at options with big data solutions as an operating expense, reducing capital investment and keeping this off the balance sheet."

Furthermore, the intersection of Cloud infrastructure and Big Data solutions offers an attractive alternative to owning physical systems.

However, A gap in skills is emerging which could make it difficult for companies to develop and access external talent.

Nugent said the community's ability to bring together practitioners from different disciplines created a rich network for self-learning and knowledge exchange.

"Australian universities are doing their part, but simply do not have the resources to meet the scale of the challenge," he said. "In the current skills landscape, every company that is serious about using Big Data needs a plan to develop and access external data talent.

"Without this type of open engagement, Australian industry risks an encounter with critical shortages in data skills."

According to Deloitte, as Australia searches for productivity gains, as the terms of trade and sectoral externalities shift - these Big Data trends (faster insights, smarter solutions, and stronger communities) provide a roadmap for Australian business to leverage.