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IBM Advances Analytics Skills Program to Universities Globally
To address a growing market demand for analytics savvy graduates, IBM (NYSE: IBM) is working with universities around the world to bring advanced analytics training directly into the classroom. The company is expanding its academic initiatives for business analytics with new programs in China, India, Ireland and Scotland, helping students keep pace with today’s competitive job market by gaining skills in this fast-growing field of technology.
Everyday people create the equivalent of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data from sensors, mobile devices, online transactions, and social networks; so much that 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years. This amounts to more data than organizations can effectively use without applying analytics. The new programs are providing students and faculty members, regardless of their course of study, with access to the latest software capabilities and thinking on how advanced analytics can be applied to tackle complex business and societal challenges.
According to the 2010 IBM Institute for Business Value and MIT Sloan Management Review study of nearly 3,000 executives worldwide, the biggest challenge is the lack of understanding in how to use analytics to gain insights that can improve business outcomes. In response to market demand, universities are incorporating analytics curricula and courseware into a variety of degree programs to educate college students in this growing field.
In India, IBM is working with faculty members from 500 universities to help more than 30,000 students develop skills in predictive analytics. As part of the program, IBM will conduct a series of training programs with business school faculty concentrating on predictive and business analytics, in 15 major cities throughout the country of India. The faculty members will complete a certification process in analytics at the end of the program.
Once certified they will begin to teach students about how analytics can be applied to their topic of study. The learning will involve access to predictive analytics technology and will focus on how to act on the results the analytics technology uncovers.
“I have been using IBM predictive analytics technology in a number of programs at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta,” said Sahadeb Sarkar, Professor, Operations Management Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM). “I hope this initiative will help teachers in universities to learn and include analytics in existing courses and design new curriculum that will helps students gain a top-notch education to meet the demands of today’s businesses and government organizations.”
University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is introducing several new courses to its School of Computing curriculum including data mining, business intelligence and knowledge management. Plans to expand the analytics course offerings to non-IT and non-finance students are underway.
“Beyond teaching business and IT skills, we are preparing students for future job opportunities with new analytics courses,” said Professor Malcolm Crowe, University of the West of Scotland. “UWS is adding new courses in direct response to the recommendations of regional employers. They have specifically advised the School of Computing that important computing skills such as business analytics are in demand and will help graduates secure jobs.”
Xi’an Jiao Tong University in China, together in cooperation with IBM’s China Development Lab in Xi’an, has developed business analytics oriented curriculum, project training materials, and planned a series of technical salon and master speech focus on analytics. These activities cover Cognos, SPSS and many best practices and tips integrated and tailored by the China Development Lab, and this analytics curriculum is planned to be replicated to six other Chinese universities in the future. This promotion of business analytics techniques and tools will enable a new generation of students, helping the Xi’an Lab with a pipeline of students with necessary skills, and will help to build up the business analytics ecosystem in China.
At the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland’s largest university, students are using analytics software in a variety of application areas allowing them to collect hidden data and applying knowledge that seemed impossible to find before that can now be uncovered.
These universities join schools around the world including Northwestern University, Yale School of Management, Fordham University, DePaul University, University of Southern California and University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management, that are working with IBM to develop and implement undergraduate and graduate curriculum and training on business analytics.
Some of the early analytics projects underway at the university level were inspired by IBM’s Watsontechnology – the most advanced analytics technology currently available. Through the development ofWatson, IBM sparked the interest of many students in the areas of math and computer science. IBM hasteamed with universities to work on the sophisticated technology associated with Watson’s deep-Question and Answer capabilities, giving more than 10,000 students exposure to analytics technology.
“Through IBM’s Academic Initiative, universities are adding analytics to their course offerings, establishing new degree programs and now we are seeing an acceleration in global demand for training in analytics,” said Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM’s Academic Initiative. “By combining IBM’s leadership in analytics with its global reach, we will begin to bridge the gap between to better equip students for new job opportunities.”