(Update: Bloomberg reports Dell is offering about $33 a share to buy EMC, plus tracking stock in VMware valued at around $8 a share. Investopedia defines tracking stock as common stock issued by a parent company that tracks the performance of a particular division without having claim on the assets of the division or the parent company. Neither EMC nor Dell were available for comment.)

Dell’s rumored purchase of data storage giant EMC would be the biggest tech deal in history.

But it just doesn’t make any sense to tech industry watchers and some EMC employees. How do you take two tech giants who are having a hard time treading water, put them together and end up with one that is strong enough to not swim against the tide?

The answer? Big data.

It’s simple to see how the big data assets of the combined companies could pave a pathway into the future.

Dell’s Big Data Goods

For some odd reason it’s a well-kept secret that Dell is the third largest company in the world when it comes to big data revenue.

It also ranks among the edgiest predictive analytics vendors according to Gartner, competing both with statistical stalwarts like SAS and up and comers like Alteryx. Dell arrived in this position, at least partly, because of its acquisition of StatSoft last year.

But there’s more data crushing power in its portfolio as well.

There’s Kitenga, a big data analytics suite, that leverages Hadoop for scalability and performance, Lucene/SOLR search, Mahout machine learning, 3D information modeling and advanced Natural Language Processing in a fully integrated, configurable, cloud-enabled software platform. Add to that Boomi for data integration, Toad Data Point and others.

EMC’s Big Data Assets

On EMC’s end, there is, of course, Pivotal which some believe will be the company to beat in computing’s third era. Gartner named it as a Visionary in its Magic Quadrant Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics and the much heralded Pivotal Cloud Foundry, a cloud native platform for delivering software rapidly, consistently and reliably at scale.

There are also both Pivotal’s and EMC’s big data and analytics consulting services; they employ some of the best data scientists in the world.

Big Data Powerhouse

Put EMC’s and Dell’s big data and analytics assets together and you end up with a portfolio that not many can match.

Now grant it, we’re not suggesting that the combined big data portfolio is worth $50 billion, but it could certainly seed a path to the future for a post EMC acquisition Dell. It’s one thing about the rumored deal that actually makes sense.