The Analytics conference has just concluded and the unofficial theme of the final day was Big Data. It began with our very first talk, a keynote presentation delivered by Will Hakes, CEO and co-founder of Link Analytics.
Will spent the first part of his talk outlining the current state of “big data,” and in a word, it’s big. Many companies have become obsessed with the mass of data available to them and are spending an ever increasing amount of money on technology in an attempt to extract the knowledge that will help them enhance the knowledge of their customers and expand profits.
According to Will, Big Data is the next frontier for analytics, but there’s one major obstacle: an impending shortage of analysts. According to a 2011 McKinsey Global Institute report, by the year 2018 the U.S. could face a shortfall of 190,000 professionals with deep analytical skills. It’s a concept shared by thought leaders in the field. Will cited a conversation he had with Michael Rappa, Director of N.C. State’s Institute for Advanced Analytics to support this notion even further: “There’s simply not enough talent out there. Demand for our graduates is over the top, as it has been in each of the past five years despite the weak economy.”
Of course SAS is leading the way in analytics and SAS Education is doing what it can to help fill the talent gap. For starters, we run the SAS’ Global Academic Program. The program’s mission is to build or expand SAS knowledge within colleges and universities around the country. Through a variety of services, including curriculum consulting, certificate programs, instructor training programs and access to teaching materials, our Global Academic Program has built or expanded SAS knowledge within hundreds of colleges and universities around the world.
In addition, the program has helped build a number of Certificate Programs and Master’s degrees in Advanced Analytics. To encourage university professors to consider these programs, the Global Academic program conducts an annual Summer Training Program for Educators.
For the past several years, we’ve even offered training sessions for high school teachers interested in incorporating analytics into their classes. Though the students are younger, the mission remains the same: teach analytical skills to educators who can then incorporate SAS into their classes. The program has been a tremendous success and has provided hundreds of students with highly marketable analytical skills as they pursue college education and future careers in analytics.
SAS Education has helped fill the current and impending talent gap in the professional world as well. Through a number of live course engagements, self-paced e-learning, and e-lectures SAS trains approximately 30,000 students each year in the U.S. alone. Our well-developed analytics curriculum has approximately 100 courses, covering business statistics, data mining, statistical analysis, forecasting, and a number of other advanced analytics topics. In addition, we have SAS Certifications for the data miner and the business analyst.
The promise of big data is real. SAS Education stands ready to help develop the skills analysts need to reap the benefits.
If you’d like to learn more about our programs in analytics, visit us on the Web at http://support.sas.com/training.