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Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

DePaul University and IBM Team to Launch New Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

IBM made two announcements yesterday aimed at ensuring that companies have the skilled workforce needed to support the growing requirements for data analysis inside their organizations.  (The U.S. Bureau of Labor is expecting a 20% growth in demand through 2008 for individuals with proven statistical competencies.  If you've got a kid in college looking for direction, keep that in mind!)

Nation's First Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics
The first announcement, made in conjunction with DePaul University, is the new Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, which will provide students with expertise in predictive analytics. The center, which will open this coming September, is a joint venture involving faculty from the School of Computing and the Department of Marketing, creating an essential bridge between technology and business.

As part of the program, DePaul is also offering students the nation's first Masters of Science in Predictive Analytics, featuring a curriculum of around 30 courses, aimed to bridge the gap between business and technology.

The press release highlights why this is so important to Illinois (and elsewhere):

According to the April 2010 "IT Occupation Trends in Illinois" study conducted by the Illinois Technology Association and CompTIA, 65 percent of Illinois businesses see business intelligence and analytics as important jobs they must fill within the next two to three years. Firms rate these as important occupations, yet they lack confidence in finding the right workers for these roles.

Analytic Certification in Education (ACE) Program
IBM also announced the Analytic Certification in Education (ACE) program , providing universities and colleges the information and testing they need to ensure their students are trained to meet the rigorous demands of the commercial world.  Independent, third-party testing ensures that prospective employees are prepared to take on the analytical tasks through the use of IBM SPSS software. There is no charge to the university or college to participate in this program.
More information on the IBM Academic Initiative, which offers no charge access to online resources to help more than 4,600 universities and community colleges worldwide cultivate more competitive business and IT skills to meet the needs of new and emerging industries, is available online.