Building wealth over the course of a lifetime means paying close attention to the latest trends in business and the economy and using that information to forecast the future.

Investors who can use data to find opportunities can almost guarantee returns.

Long-term portfolios should be heavy with blue-chip companies that have established a dominant position in their industries. But there is also a place for riskier stocks that offer the promise of big, dramatic gains.

One such company is Quantum(QTM) - Get Report , which has had some rough times in the past few years but has turned things around and is heading back to profitability.

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One of the downsides of the rapid changes in technology is that sometimes content gets lost forever.

Many people have lost valuable material on VHS tapes or early computer disks because that format is obsolete and no one makes the devices that can read them. The same problem can happen to companies that don't stay up-to-date on the latest data storage methods.

Quantum helps companies out of that predicament by offering a wide range of data protection and archive storage solutions.

A scale-out storage solution is Quantum's key product. It allows companies to store all sorts of unstructured data such as DNA information, scientific research and surveillance videos, among other things, in a way that makes it accessible to future users.

The company has invested a lot of capital building this division, but the results are paying off.

Scale-out storage grew from $53 million in revenue in fiscal 2014 to $103 million in fiscal 2016, indicating that the product has reached critical mass with customers.

In an Oct, 6 preliminary fiscal second-quarter earnings statement, Quantum reported revenue for this division of $46 million, up a whopping 54% from $29.9 million a year earlier.

Quantum's products offer a unique combination of easy data access, high performance and low-cost capacity for addressing workflow demands. This makes them attractive to everyone from tech pioneers such as Micron Technology to large movie studios such as Walt Disney.

One problem for Quantum's stock was that as its price fell below certain benchmarks, mutual funds at Fidelity Investments and Vanguard were required to sell it, causing a downward spiral. But with the price on the upswing, savvy managers at these and other funds will likely add it back into their portfolios.

Investors had also worried about the company's debt, but Quantum just revealed significant progress in paying that down.

Quantum will be issuing its complete fiscal second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. The details of the debt refinancing, once made official, could cause a sharp increase in interest in this stock.

The stock is somewhat risky, but the potential reward is enormous.


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This article is commentary by an independent contributor, who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.