IBM partners with IU’s Kelley School of Business to provide ‘big data’ backing in the classroom

227758_actualEarlier today, IBM announced plans to partner with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and more than two dozen other business schools and universities.

The primary purpose of the partnership will be to better prepare students for an estimated 4.4 million new jobs that will be created worldwide to support big data by 2015.

The term “big data” was coined to describe a collection of data sets so large and complex that they can’t be processed using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.

Given the explosion of new information being made available for analysis using high-power computing, opportunities abound using analytics in medicine, business and other fields. Over the next eight years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster-than-average increase in employment opportunities for computer and information research scientists.

In their release, IBM cited a company survey of chief financial officers. While 82 percent of those surveyed saw the value of integrating enterprise-wide data, only 24 percent thought their team could successfully do the job.

Two years ago, the Kelley School established the Institute for Business Analytics, which produces insightful research and trains professionals who can excel in this exciting new field. It also annually hosts a forum for experienced executives, students, business faculty and others who are on the forefront of applying business analytics in organizations.

The Kelley School offers both a major and minor in business analytics at the MBA level with an emphasis on statistics, modeling and data management. Its Master of Science in Information Systems program offers a strong core business and technology foundation along with a concentration in business intelligence and business analytics.

With support from IBM, the Kelley School will further enhance its curriculum combining business knowledge and information technology skills so its graduates can better harness big data into knowledge that will help companies better serve consumers and their own interests.

One example of this appeared today in a blog post written by Jonathan E. Helm, assistant professor of operations and decision technologies at Kelley. Helm is leading a research project focused on how big data is helping hospitals better manage care of patients in hospitals.

“The opportunity around big data is seemingly endless. Big data seems to be everywhere and is a part of everything – embedded in e-commerce, social media and electronic health records,” Helm said in his article, written for IBM’s Building a Smarter Planet blog. “Organizations large and small are presented with an opportunity to leverage the vast amount of data to transform operations. It’s exciting to work on these projects leveraging big data and I’ve seen firsthand how important it is to have the needed skills in this area.”

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