The first wave of Apache-based distributions of open-source framework Hadoop still dominate in Europe, but newer versions from proprietary vendors are starting to figure strongly in firms' adoption plans.
With Hadoop rapidly becoming the standard for big-data analytics, Cloudera leads the field with 41 percent of the framework's use in Europe, followed by core Apache code on 30 percent, Hortonworks on 18 percent and MapR on nine percent.
However, EMC and Microsoft, which do not register in current adoption figures, emerge as viable candidates for future Hadoop projects, according to the research from data-integration company Syncsort.
Some nine percent of firms cite EMC's Greenplum HD as an Hadoop distribution they are considering using in future plans, with seven percent listing Microsoft's HDInsight Service. The numbers saying they are considering Cloudera and core Apache for future plans drop to 29 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Hortonworks and MapR do better when it comes to firms' future intentions, with figures of 23 percent and 15 percent. IBM's InfoSphere BigInsights stays constant, recording two percent for current use and as a distribution being considered for future use.
The research suggests more than 60 percent of the 300 organisations questioned are already experimenting with Hadoop or have been using it for more than a year. Roughly the same number say they have Hadoop projects due to start shortly.
Only 24 percent say they have no intention of using the open-source data analytics system in the near future.
The common barriers to Hadoop adoption are uncertainty and ignorance, cited by almost half of organisations, followed by concerns about connecting with other apps, lack of skills and unanticipated costs.
No single use seems to be driving Hadoop adoption, but marketing intelligence appears to be behind many of the first projects to be tackled, particularly in the retail and online industries.
In the financial services sector, Hadoop's role has shifted from large-scale data storage to credit and market risk applications.
A bare majority of firms fall into the categories of either being in the early phase of Hadoop adoption and working on prototyping and experimentation, or are already using Hadoop as an enterprise data-management platform.
Only about a quarter of companies, 27 percent, think they have a good data strategy and the right tools, but they still outstrip the 14 percent of organisations with no data strategy, or the 16 percent that admit to be struggling with the tools to integrate data.