Deakin University and IBM collaborate to foster analytics skills for the next generation of Australian workers

Media release
12 October 2012
Melbourne, Australia - October 12, 2012: Deakin University and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the launch of Australia's first Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Melbourne, Australia - October 12, 2012: Deakin University and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the launch of Australia's first Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The new collaboration between IBM and Deakin University is part of an ongoing effort to expand and strengthen student skills and understanding of big data and analytics in order to meet the growing demand for highly skilled analytics workers.

Businesses today have to cope with massive amounts of data that are being generated daily due to social networking sites and through the proliferation of mobile devices.

IBM estimates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day from a variety of sources including posts to Facebook and Twitter, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals, to name a few.

With the creation of this amount of data, it is essential the next generation of Australian business and marketing leaders possess strong analytics skills to garner insights from the flood of information.

Deakin University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said the new centre would give the University an edge over its competitors as it sought to implement its new Strategic Plan.

"Through our new strategic plan LIVE the future, Deakin aims to consolidate its reputation in research, in learning, and in the strength of its relationship with industry, government and our communities," she said.

"The need for Deakin to differentiate from its competitors has never been stronger as the experience of our TAFE colleagues has shown.

"We are in a brave new world of higher education and through LIVE the future Deakin will harness the power, opportunity and reach of the digital world in all that it does.

"Deakin aims to be in the forefront of using the digital enhancements to enable our staff and our students to be at the forefront of this exciting new field."

The new centre will be based at the University's Melbourne Campus on Elgar Road and will act as a springboard for the University's plans to deliver a suite of postgraduate programs in Business Analytics, as well as showcasing IBM's business analytics technology solutions. IBM will also offer certifications programs in Analytics through the Centre.

Head of the School of Information Systems, Professor Dineli Mather, said Deakin's School of Information Systems was well positioned to expand its academic offerings into Business Analytics as it has combined expertise in Information Systems and analytics and was able to offer students the opportunity to develop in a broad range of disciplines already offered by the Business Faculty.

"We anticipate students on the Master of Commerce and MBA will be able to specialise in Business Analytics and students from all degrees across Deakin will have the opportunity to take elective offerings in Business Analytics.

Our collaboration with IBM is a positive step forward in terms of fostering these skills with the next generation of students," she said.

"Analytics skills are already emerging as an important part of business," said Mike McKee, Business Analytics Business Unit Executive, IBM Australia and New Zealand.

"Big data and the explosion of business information systems are creating more complex work environments.

"The Australian business leaders of tomorrow will need the skills and training to harness these information and technology tools to turn the data into business insights.

"Deakin University and the Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics is creating a new education environment in Australia that will bring business and technical skills together for the growth of our economy."

Deakin joins Yale School of Management, the Telfer Business School in Ottawa and Nanyang Polytechnic University in Singapore as the fourth university globally to establish an academic alliance to establish a Centre of Excellence globally.

IBM is working with more than 200 academic organisations around the world specifically in the area of expanding and strengthening analytics curricula to meet the growing demand of highly skilled analytics business workers of the future who will work with big data.

Schools include universities such as Fordham, Yale School of Management, Northwestern University, Michigan State University, University of Southern California Annenberg, DePaul University, University of West Scotland, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Xi'an Jiao Tong University, University of Ulster, IAE Aix-en-Provence, EDC business school in France, Ottawa University Telfer School of Management, among others.

The work with Deakin University is part of IBM's Academic Initiative, a program that offers colleges and universities access to the latest advances in technology and business industry expertise.

IBM is providing Deakin faculty access to curriculum materials, project-focused case studies, and IBM thought leaders as guest speakers to give students hands-on experience with big data.

As part of the initiative, faculty can also compete for awards to accelerate program development.

Nearly 6,000 universities and 30,000 faculty members worldwide have joined IBM's Academic Initiative over the past seven years.

The work with academia to advance skills is part of IBM's broader focus on analytics and big data.

The company has established the world's deepest portfolio of analytics solutions, software and services, including almost 9,000 business analytics and optimisation consultants, 400 researchers, 8 global analytics solution centres in Berlin, Beijing, Dallas, London, New York, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich, and well over 500 analytics-related patents every year, contributing to IBM's record as the number one patent holder in the world for the last 19 years.

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