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Friday, 12 October 2012 16:15

IBM, Deakin Uni to launch Australia’s 1st Business Analytics Centre for Excellence


IBM and Victoria’s Deakin University are collaborating to launch Australia’s first Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics to foster analytics skills for students, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Aimed at fostering analytical skills for the next generation of Australian workers, the new centre will be based at the University’s Melbourne Campus.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, said today the centre would 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.

Mike McKee, Business Analytics Business Unit Executive, IBM Australia and New Zealand, said “analytics skills are already emerging as an important part of business,” with “big data and the explosion of business information systems 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 are creating a new education environment in Australia that will bring business and technical skills together for the growth of our economy.”

According to McKee, 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.”

Professor Hollander said the new centre would give the Deakin 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.”

The Head of the School of Information Systems at Deakin, Professor Dineli Mather, said the university’s School of Information Systems was well positioned to expand its academic offerings into business analytics as it had 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.”

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.

Mike McKee said IBM’s work with Deakin University was part of the company’s Academic Initiative, a program that offered 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.”

McKee said IBM was 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.

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

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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