Analytics Skills Are Highly Desirable in Todays Job Market
Students in the top two winning teams held concentrations in marketing and business, a sign of the growing need and interest for hands-on expertise in analytics, outside of traditional engineering and computer science programs. As companies look to gain faster and more accurate insight into customer opinion and preferences, the ability for graduates to strengthen skills in analytics is making them highly sought after in today's job market, IBM said. The Watson case competition supports the university's commitment to incorporating analytics and evidence-based reasoning across all areas of business, ranging from marketing to economics and brand development to entrepreneurship. The initiative is part of IBMs ongoing collaboration with educational institutions to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.The case-based approach may help shape how IBM applies the Watson technology to client challenges across a variety of industries in the future. Watson is already being put to work in the health care and financial services
industries. In a pilot program at WellPoint, the technology
is helping medical professionals make more informed decisions related to
patient-treatment options, and Citibank is evaluating new
ways the technology can help improve the banking client experience.
Representing a fundamentally
different type of technology, Watson is a cognitive system that learns and
becomes more accurate over time by applying analytics and evidence-based
reasoning to volumes of information. Like the human brain, Watson builds
relationships between a variety of data sets and continuously processing and
reprocessing information to draw deeper insights for better
According to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, there will be a 24 percent increase in demand for
professionals with management analysis skills over the next eight years. The McKinsey Global Institute
projects a need for approximately 190,000 more workers with analytics expertise
and 1.5 million more data-savvy managers in the United States.
The role and value of data is
causing shifts inside organizations and across business cultures driving demand
across a broad range of industries in the private and public sectors. These
organizations are seeking new ways to tap information in traditional databases
and unlock data tucked away in an unstructured format, including videos,
comments on social media sites and text messages.
IBM's Watson academic case
competition is the latest example of how the company is helping universities prepare
students in new areas of computing and business leadership. The University of
Rochester and IBM Watson case competition is in keeping with IBM's Academic
Initiative, which delivers coursework, case studies and curricula to more than
6,000 universities and 30,000 faculty members worldwide to help students
prepare for high-value future job opportunities. IBM worked closely with
academic institutions during the development and introduction of Watson. Eight
leading universities around the world participated in the development phase of
the system, and more than 10,000 students watched Watson triumph on the Jeopardy
quiz show in February 2011.
The case competition provides a new way for students to bring forward game-changing ideas while providing them with the opportunity to hone their skills in important new areas, such as analytics and cognitive computing. said Manoj Saxena, general manager of IBM Watson Solutions, in a statement. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of business leaders to think differently about how technology can be used to transform business and redefine industries."