“Big Data” Boot Camps Launched By IBM

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IBM’s skills initiative offers free boot-camp training to help IT workers to tackle emerging Big Data issues

IBM is taking Big Data seriously and is working to help IT workers the world over to handle the challenges that Big Data represents.

As part of its initiative to tackle Big Data, IBM launched a global skills initiative to educate clients, business partners, and college students how to use IBM business analytics and information management software, and many of the underlying technologies of the Watson computing system to grab information from new sources and use it to create business opportunities.

Data Warehouses Growing

The term Big Data typically refers to datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualising. As the world becomes increasingly instrumented, with sensors collecting data from all manner of sources, the Big Data phenomenon will continue to grow. IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy helps to address the Big Data issue, yet it is but one of several approaches IBM is taking to handle massive amounts of data.

The new IBM Big Data skills initiative, launched March 10, provides IT professionals no-charge access to 1,200 on-site skills boot camps at client, partner and university locations worldwide, at 38 IBM Innovation Centres, and online at DB2University.com.

In an interview with eWEEK, Rod Smith, IBM’s vice president of emerging internet technologies, said making sense of Big Data requires a new set of skills that many IT professionals do not possess today. The skills boot camps will provide education to these communities on topics such as Big Data, analytics, data management and open source technologies including Hadoop and Eclipse tools.

The new initiative comes on the heels of IBM’s Watson Jeopardy! challenge where the system demonstrated how it analysed natural human language in under three seconds to defeat two champions using commercially available technologies from IBM.

IBM maintains that businesses today are looking for disruptive technologies like Watson to help them capitalise on the growing volume, variety and velocity of information k.nown as “Big Data.” This includes the massive amount of public information available on the Web, information generated by sensors, mobile devices, social networks, cloud computing, and public sources of information that are not integrated into a company’s existing information management platforms.

The Course Contents

IBM said IT professionals and students will get hands on training to learn:

  • How to use InfoSphere, DB2, Informix, Optim, and Guardium software to manage and integrate data flowing across and into their organisation
  • “Big Data” management and analysis skills including data federation, integration, and warehousing techniques using InfoSphere BigInsights, Streams, Warehouse and Information Server software
  • Advanced skills such as data management planning, and data governance, quality and security strategies
  • Where to take advantage of free exams and testing to become certified on IBM Software in support of career advancement

“We’re rolling out these boot camps so people can get prepared as Big Data comes down the line,” Smith said.

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