North Carolina State University and SAS to collaborate on data analytics Master's Degree program

RALEIGH, N.C., July 12, 2006--At an executive breakfast this morning, North Carolina State University Chancellor James Oblinger and Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, the leader in business intelligence, announced an initiative to create a new graduate degree program in the rapidly expanding field of data analytics.

The new Analytics Initiative - led by Dr. Michael Rappa, Alan T. Dickson Distinguished University Professor - proposes an intensive one-year professional master's degree that will give students an understanding of analytical concepts and hands-on experience with the same powerful tools used in industry today. The degree program will be organized as part of the proposed Institute for Advanced Analytics, to be located on NC State's Centennial Campus.

Modern society is awash in data. The tools, concepts and practices of analytics hold the key to understanding massive amounts of data and then using this knowledge to make sound decisions. Whether it is uncovering fraud in banking transactions, improving the quality of healthcare received by patients or predicting which customers will respond to a marketing campaign, the applications of data analytics cross all industries. As such, the ability to strategically apply analytics transcends industry, making experts in the field in high demand.

"The Analytics Initiative brings together a large multidisciplinary group of NC State's most talented faculty and staff to work in collaboration with one of the world's leaders in analytics software. Together we will create an educational program that is truly world-class and unparalleled in addressing the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Oblinger.

The Analytics Initiative will receive strong support from SAS in the development of the curriculum over the next three years. Today's announcement to 20 senior executives from both organizations comes one year after Oblinger and Goodnight met to identify novel ways SAS and NC State might work together on important educational endeavors.

"Competing on analytics in corporations, government agencies and educational institutions is becoming a must," said Goodnight. "And our customers are making it clear: They need more talent capable of leveraging world-class business intelligence systems. The NC State University Institute for Advanced Analytics will help meet this need with high-quality, domain-specific, analytics education. It's the right program, at the right time, with the right leadership at the helm."

The Initiative represents the latest milestone in a long and fruitful relationship. The earliest version of SAS was created by Goodnight and NC State colleagues more than 30 years ago to analyze agricultural research data. The proposed degree will commence in 2007, pending approval of NC State and UNC System authorities.

About NC State

One of the country's leading land-grant universities, NC State takes a proactive role in economic development and partnership building. Over the past 25 years, NC State has consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation for its technology transfer activities. The university has launched 59 start-up companies, which have led to the creation of more than 13,000 jobs and to the generation of more than $150 million in venture capital investments. NC State also owns more than 530 U.S. patents for inventions. In terms of how these measures impact quality of life, The Scientist magazine ranked NC State third in the nation for overall patent power.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence software and services. Customers at 40,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance through insight into vast amounts of data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better products. Only SAS offers leading data integration, intelligence storage, advanced analytics and traditional business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know(R).

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. (R) indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies

NC State News Services
Keith Nichols, 919-515-3470;
Trent Smith, 919-531-4726;

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