IBM Goes Back to School to Increase Analytics Skills

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Analytics and the Path to Value

When it comes to business, information is clearly power.

There's not much point to investing in analytics software if there are not enough people around with the skills to use them.

That's a fundamental issue that IBM is trying to address via a new initiative with Fordham University to develop a Center for Digital Transformation, which is intended to aid industry and academic experts looking to conduct research and develop a business analytics curriculum. Fordham is also introducing a Master of Science in Business Analytics and a Master of Science in Marketing Intelligence in which IBM intends to participate.

In many ways, the shortage of analytics expertise in the world today is the weakest link in IBM's Smarter Planet initiative. According to Kevin Faughnan, director of IBM academic initiatives, it's pretty clear at this point that just about everything related to business or government is soon going to be interconnected and instrumented.


This trend will create massive amounts of Big Data that all needs to be analyzed in order to extract real value out of that information. The problem right now is that people with the skills to do that are in real short supply.

Faughnan says IBM is trying to reduce that shortage by working with multiple universities to create programs that combine IT and business skills under a single degree program. There's a real sense of urgency among business professionals when it comes to analytics, adds Faughnan, because of all the recent economic firestorms. But until universities start turning out more people with the right combination of skills, chances are, businesses are not going to see the business value of investing in advanced analytics software that only a small number of people are currently trained to use.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Nov 22, 2011 5:27 AM david k waltz david k waltz  says:

Some say there is a shortage, others do not. In terms of branding, IBM does not lose either way.

I am a big proponent of analytics, and have blogged several times about "Big Data". Yet it's always down the road, just around the next corner...and then the next...and then the next. Not sure what to make of that.

Dec 13, 2011 7:03 AM Malinda Hartwig Malinda Hartwig  says:

I want my analytics skills increased as well. I have to admit that I have never been good at that. A communication degreedidn't help, that's for sure. Faughnan is right when saying that things related to business or government will be interconnected and instrumented. Analyzing the data is the real issue.

Jan 10, 2012 3:11 AM Alejandra Dorantes Alejandra Dorantes  says:

Business analytics and marketing intelligence are one of the most important skills that people should have in order to build a successful career. It doesn't matter if you are attending an informatics University or just a rn to bsn program. It is very important to have as many skills as possible in order to be always on the top. 


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