7 Big Data Players To Watch

New York City, IBM, State Street and four other organizations are developing innovative ways to leverage the ever-increasing volumes of data they're amassing.
March 05, 2013

University of Virginia


Next Generation Of Data Experts In Training

In order for banks to realize the promise of big data, they must acquire people with an array of skills -- including data architects, data scientists and data mining engineers -- that may not exist among their current workforces. Gartner has predicted that by 2015 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data (1.9 million of those in the U.S.). No wonder colleges and universities worldwide are hustling to beef up undergraduate and graduate programs focused on the applications of analytics, statistics, business intelligence and big data.

Whether household-name academic institutions such as MIT, Northwestern University, Harvard and Stanford, or less-well-known schools such as Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, a growing number of schools are responding to what is expected to be a serious shortage of professionals with analytical expertise. McKinsey recently predicted there could be close to 190,000 unfilled big data-related positions by 2018.

One of the most aggressive institutions of higher learning that is aiming to educate the next generation of data experts is the University of Virginia. Late last year the Charlottesville, Va., school "embarked on a big data initiative designed to help faculty, staff and students across academic disciplines and administrative units come together and develop services, curricula and new research activities related to complex data," according to a university press release. Following a Big Data Summit that UVA hosted this past May, the university created an interschool group of faculty charged with "developing an overall plan for big data that will identify hiring needs, address curricular issues, coordinate service and research needs, create connections with industry and enable fundraising."

Among other activities, the group is investigating what needs to go into a program "to train quantitative data and information researchers and to provide literacy to anyone whose research might touch big data," according to the UVA statement. One possibility, for example, is an introductory course sequence that would bring quantitative literacy in math, statistics and computation to a large body of students. Another goal of the school is to form a virtual institute that would coordinate big data activities and promote cutting-edge research in big data. -- Katherine Burger

[Big Data At J.P. Morgan: Delivering The Firm]

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