IBM reached a deal Tuesday to acquire analytics firm The Now Factory, a company helping telecommunications providers gather data about customer use. The acquisition is part of a long-term strategy to emphasize software analyzing large volumes of data, often termed “big data”, according to the company.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but IBM noted it was folding the Dublin, Ireland-based service into its existing big data offerings.

IBM has made a series of big-data acquisitions in the past few years. In March, it acquired Vivisimo, search engine software analytics company based in Pittsburgh, Pa. In February, the company acquired StoredIQ, an Austin, Tex.-based firm helping businesses deal with regulatory compliance and litigation. In the same month, it reached a deal to acquire Star Analytics, a Redwood City, Calif.-based financial analytics firm.

The Now Factory could help IBM’s big data team reach new markets, Gartner analyst Merv Adrian wrote in an e-mail.

“Now Factory is an application that has a base of customers in a very valuable vertical market (telecom) with specific needs (customer experience monitoring), but its usage can be extended to others once it is integrated into IBM’s big data offerings.”

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.