To help close the growing skill gap in analytics, IBM has announced it’s expanding its data science education efforts.
According to IT research and advisory company Gartner, the number of citizen data scientists is on track to grow five times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists through 2017, and the need for talent who can make data-driven insights and decisions will increase as well. Through IBM’s new Watson Analytics Academic Program, students at select universities around the world will gain access to tools and resources that will help them build data-analytic skills.
“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 of Watson Analytics and Business Intelligence at IBM Analytics, in a statement.
The program provides a kit with sample data sets, an online course, student workbooks, video tutorials and pre-packaged syllabi to help professors update their lesson plans, as well as a one-year license of Watson Analytics Professional Edition for up to 100 users at no cost.
Also part of its data science education efforts, IBM is launching a student version 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 statement said.
Academic institutions already participating in the program include Northwestern University, the College of William and Mary, and Deakin University in Australia.