BCIT opens analytics centre to help big business make sense of big data

With the immense amount of data that can be shared and gathered using new technologies, Jenness Murray says it’s all too easy companies and organizations to be at a loss with what to do with it all. 

Jenness Murray, chairwoman of BCIT's Centre for Excellence in Analytics

With the immense amount of data that can be shared and gathered using new technologies, Jenness Murray says it’s all too easy for companies and organizations to be at a loss with what to do with it all.

“The need for analytics skills has developed exponentially in the last few years and it’s going to continue to grow,” said the chairwoman of the B.C. Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) Centre for Excellence in Analytics, which officially launches November 24.

“What really has developed is the need for talent to not only understand the technical side but be able to understand business strategy as well.”

The analytics centre will begin offering two new programs for certificates in business analytics or applied data analytics in mid-2015.

Meanwhile, the centre is providing corporate workshops that will offer customized on-site analytics training from a business and technology perspective.

“Essentially, analytics is being able to tap in to all of that data exists and turn it into some useful information for an organization so that they’re then able to make decisions based on it,” Murray said, adding the advent of new user-friendly tools and the ability to share data on the cloud has made analytics extremely accessible in the last few years.

“Business analytics is a big part of that but there’s analytics in health care, and energy and sports.”

To mark Monday’s launch of the centre, SAP vice-president Chris Burton will be providing a keynote speech on how the German Football Association used data analytics to help secure the 2014 World Cup.

Although sports analytics is focused on player performance, Murray said understanding the basic concepts behind it can help with quick decision-making processes in the workplace.

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