Following is a guest post from David Miller, DePaul University.
Into our second full week of the 2010-2011 academic year, we are excited to have officially opened the new DePaul University Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics.
A few years ago some of our faculty realized that students who had taken data mining classes were well-positioned for job opportunities, especially as organizations have realized the competitive advantage of this technology — across numerous disciplines. To continue to help our students succeed, we developed the Center to bridge the gap between business and technology and create an even better pipeline to match students with jobs in analytics.
And, whether we like it or not, analytics is in our future. This year alone, there will be 1,200 exabytes of data generated from sensors, electronic forms, audio and video clips, e-mail, blogs, social networks, web searches and financial transactions. Data is streaming at us, and from us, in all directions. Business and governments alike are grappling with the challenge of making sense of this data deluge to turn it into new opportunities, increased performance and faster, better decision-making.
The power of analytics is transforming this information into a strategic asset. Having the best, most complete and up-to-date information is useless, however, if you can’t make sense of it. I’ve always said that data unanalyzed, is data wasted. Therefore, businesses and governments need two very important things to make this happen: the right technology and employees with the right expertise and skillsets.
To help organizations tackle these challenges and give the next-generation of knowledge-workers the competencies they need, DePaul University, with IBM as its first partner, launched the new Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, as well as a Masters in Predictive Analytics program.
This applied research center will train future leaders on data mining and predictive analytics, and meet increasing demands for experts who can apply this technology to an array of industry problems.
The Center represents a central point of contact between industry and academia, preparing students for future jobs, enabling collaboration between researchers and spreading the gospel, so to speak, about the value and benefit of predictive analytics.
DePaul University is on the cutting-edge of creating a needed supply of incredibly intelligent professionals fluent in computational and analytical skills, with the business knowledge necessary to business in all industries. Already underway, our students and faculty are engaged in projects that span medical imaging informatics, web data mining, personalization and recommender systems, and urban planning.
Today’s young people who master this area will be in high demand. In fact, they already are. And, thanks to the participation from leading technology companies, such as IBM, this collaboration is poised to give students a highly marketable skill and the rare opportunity to acquire real-world knowledge that should benefit them — and society — for years to come.
David Miller, Dean of College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.