Following is a guest post from David Miller, DePaul University.
In preparing for our launch of the new DePaul University Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics , I did a simple Google search and typed in the word, “data.” Thanks to Google’s suggestion capability, I didn’t even have to finish typing before the first suggestion popped up as “Data Mining.”
You see data mining is incredibly important, you don’t have to take my word for it. 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. Although, having the best, most complete and up-to-date information is useless 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, in collaboration with IBM, has launched a new Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, as well as a Masters in Predictive Analytics program. Opening in September 2010, 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 problems such as traffic management, energy management, public health planning and city services.
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 enhance business processes — from customer acquisition in a marketing department or fraud detection in an insurance company, among the myriad of business problems to solve.
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 which is donating resources in the form of guest lecturers, 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.