IBM Expands Data Science Education around the World
Brings the Power of Self-Service Analytics to the Next Generation of Business Leaders with Watson Analytics Academic Program and New Student Version
Feb 29, 2016
ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) is expanding its academic initiative with a new program that infuses its natural-language-based Watson Analytics technology into the classroom to help professors teach students how to turn data into insights without needing in-depth knowledge of data science. IBM is also introducing a new student version of Watson Analytics that will put the power of cognitive computing into the hands of the next generation of business leaders as they prepare to enter the workforce.
The skills gap in analytics is well known – not just in IT, but also across a wide range of job roles and functions. Recent research cited in Datanami indicates that the current demand for data scientists exceed the current supply by factor of three1. To help meet the need, line of business managers are learning to launch complex analytics programs on their own; as Gartner predicts that the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists through 20172.
IBM is helping to prepare the citizen data scientist of tomorrow with a new Watson Analytics Academic Program that can be used to help educate more than 140,000 students in qualified leading universities globally including Northwestern University, the College of William and Mary, Deakin University in Australia and many more. The new program provides qualified universities with an enablement kit that includes sample data sets; an online course; student workbooks; video tutorials and pre-packaged syllabi to help professors update their lesson plans. The program also includes a one-year license of Watson Analytics Professional Edition for up to 100 users at no cost.
With these tools, nearly 400 universities are already using Watson Analytics to augment data analysis courses and, in some cases, create completely new analytics programs. For example:
"Data analysis will be a critical part of every job in the twenty-first century - so we see Watson Analytics, which turns everyone into a data scientist, as the future of analytics," said Dr. Martin Block, Northwestern University. "Pulling from syllabus guides provided through the Watson Analytics Academic Program, we were able to integrate new lesson plans into our course work in less than a week; which has helped us prepare our students to tackle any analytical problem on their own once they enter the workforce."
"With the shortage of data scientists, the rapid increase of citizen analysts and the growth in data, we need a paradigm shift away from Q&A-driven analysis and more towards unbiased inquiry to allow data scientists to spend less time searching and more time tuning; and citizen analysts to find patterns in data without deep statistical skills," said Marc Altshuller, Vice President, Watson Analytics and Business Intelligence, IBM Analytics. "The new Watson Analytics Academic Program is enabling this by training the citizen analyst of tomorrow with skills to help them unlock the value of data for businesses around the globe."
Furthering its mission to increase data science education, IBM is launching a new student edition of Watson Analytics that extends cognitive computing further into the classroom to help students learn how to prepare, refine and build predictions from data with smart data discovery. The new student version expands on capabilities available in the freemium version of Watson Analytics to offer students at qualified universities access to Twitter data as well data from external data sources including DashDB, IBM Netezza and more at no cost.
Universities can apply for the Watson Analytics Academic Program through http://ibm.co/1emFp3G.
IBM has been a decades-long leader in open source innovation and data science education. In June, IBM committed to educating more than 1 million data scientists and data engineers on Spark through extensive partnerships with DataCamp, MetiStream, Galvanize and Big Data University MOOC.
1Datanami, Data Science Education Gets Stronger, But It's Not There Yet, October 2015: https://ibm.biz/BdHKXd
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