Fordham University and IBM launch curriculum to prepare students with business analytics skills

New York, N.Y., 09 Dec 2009 -- Fordham University and IBM (NYSE: IBM) are collaborating on a new business analytics curriculum to help prepare college students for careers in key industries such as energy and utilities, healthcare, education, transportation and public service that are expected to benefit from $1.8 trillion in global stimulus investments. Businesses and governments are now driving transformation projects including smart grids that lower energy consumption, sensors that help reduce traffic congestion, electronic medical records for personalized healthcare and RFID tags that trace food and medicine for consumer safety. The digital infrastructures supporting these projects will generate enormous amounts of data requiring a skilled workforce to make sense of it in a meaningful way. For example, computing systems today are generating 15 petabytes of new information every day -- eight times more than the combined information in all the libraries in the U.S.

In a recent IBM Global CIO Study, 83 percent of respondents identified business analytics -- the ability to see patterns in vast amounts of data and extract actionable insights -- as a top priority and a way in which they plan to enhance their competitiveness. As the adoption of business analytics grows within organizations, the need for analytics skills across all functions of a business rises as well.

"Analytics can vastly improve our lives and provide new job opportunities for college students entering the workforce," said W. Raghupathi, Professor of Information Systems, Fordham University School of Business. "Fordham has a long history of collaboration with IBM that has brought innovative new skills to our curriculum to prepare students for future jobs. With this effort, Fordham is preparing students with marketable skills for a coming wave of jobs in healthcare, sustainability, and social services where analytics can be applied to everyday challenges."

Fordham’s Schools of Business, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs in information and communication systems, is addressing the need with a first-of-its kind Business Analytics for Managers course based on IBM analytics technology. Beginning Spring 2010, students can register and get hands-on training in business intelligence, data analytics, data warehousing, data mining and online analytical processing (OLAP) techniques. Students will also learn managerial decision making and how analytics technology can improve the effectiveness of key business functions such as marketing, sales, finance, business development, human resources and manufacturing. Additional topics include:

Reporting: Students will become proficient at authoring, using and sharing any type of report -- drawing on any data source -- so they can present business analytics information in a consistent and easy-to-use way.

Analysis: Students will learn how to analyze and report against online analytical processing (OLAP) and dimensionally aware relational data sources. This will help them learn how to spot trends and see business issues from a variety of dimensions.

Score carding: Students will master the art of building easy-to-use scorecards to align teams and tactics with business strategy. They can communicate business goals company-wide and let people monitor performance against their targets.

Dashboards: Students will learn how to communicate complex information quickly using dashboards, which provide a single view of information that business professionals can use to make key decisions.

Business and governments alike are using the power of analytics to better manage the information explosion and make informed decisions to better serve customers and citizens.

New York Health and Human Services Collaborate with IBM to Improve Citizen Service

New York City Health and Human Services turned to IBM to power its new HHS-Connect system. The new system fundamentally changes how the City provides services to more than 2 million people by better connecting clients and agencies to ensure holistic and integrated services. Clients may receive assistance from more than a dozen city agencies including homeless services, criminal justice and probation departments, aging, and health and mental hygiene. Prior to the creation of the new system, client data was distributed across multiple computer systems within HHS. Just one of these repositories held more than 2 billion documents and there was no easy way to extract key information from a variety of systems to make quick and accurate decisions. HHS-Connect with analytics capabilities allows agency staff to search and retrieve data from multiple systems through a single interface, providing them with a more complete picture of their clients in less time. As a result, requests for clients to provide documents that were previously submitted to participating agencies are reduced, while client services are delivered in a more timely manner.

In addition to providing workers with a centralized view of their clients, HHS-Connect has enhanced the City’s online benefit pre-screening tool, ACCESS NYC, to continue providing the public with a centralized view of the City’s services. ACCESS NYC now includes a fully automated on-line application for subsidized School Meals as well as a personalized portal view of the applicant’s supplied information. This is the first in a series of enhancements that will not only increase awareness of health and human services, but also improve client access to services, reducing the need for agency visits and phone calls. Additional online applications will soon be available via ACCESS NYC, including an online Medicaid Renewal; applications for Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE), and a Food Stamps application.

"Analytics skills are no longer the domain of mathematicians or statisticians," said Ambuj Goyal, general manager, business analytics and process optimization, IBM. "Employers today are looking for a broad set of workers with analytics skills to help modernize health care systems, make aging buildings more energy efficient, bring clean technologies to market, and improve the delivery and effectiveness of public service. Fordham University is leading the way with a new curriculum that brings business and technical skills together for students looking to make an impact on the world."

IBM has invested more than $12 billion in the past four years in analytics technologies and services, including 4,000 consultants with deep vertical expertise and six new analytics centers in 2009 alone where clients can work closely with IBM experts to apply analytics directly in their businesses.

The IBM Academic Initiative offers no charge access to online resources to help more than 4,600 universities and community colleges worldwide cultivate more competitive business and IT skills to meet the needs of new and emerging industries.

For more information, visit . For more information on IBM Business Analytics: .

Source: IBM

Kaveri Camire 
IBM Media Relations 

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