IBM’s skills initiative offers free boot-camp training to help IT workers to tackle emerging Big Data issues
IBM claims that more organisations are moving to IBM Software in support of Big Data growth initiatives. In 2010, more than 1,000 Oracle Database customers chose DB2 instead, the company maintains. At the same time, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in business analytics which includes 24 acquisitions, and has assembled 8,000 analytics consultants with industry expertise, and opened a network of analytics centres of excellence around the world.
Smith said one of the key areas of focus for the Big Data initiative will be academia. For instance, Marist College based in Poughkeepsie, NY, is equipping its students with green technology skills, and in turn helping future employers find new ways to reduce their carbon footprint. According to Roger Norton, dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist, Watson demonstrated a new standard for an energy efficient computing system that today’s companies can use to become more green.
As Big Data is presenting a new challenge for industry and academia to re-think the way they see IT. Marist is expanding on its initiatives working with IBM to offer more courses in DB2, BigInsights and analytics software to help the utilisation of data centres and simplify the consolidation of IT resources while also analysing untapped data generated from sources such as Facebook and sensors.
IBM said it also is relying on some of its key partners to assist with the skills initiative. For instance, IBM Business Partner Perficient has played a key role in working with IBM to develop the content of IBM’s Skills Boot camps. According to Perficient Managing Director Matt Castle, clients are looking to their IT teams to tackle Big Data challenges. IBM’s investment in helping IT professionals learn new skills helps clients bridge the two worlds of Internet-scale data and data generated within an organisation to create a single view of all that information. For example, how businesses can use social media as a means to get closer to consumers to better understand their preferences on their goods and services. At the same time, all that data generated still needs to be stored, cleansed, and analysed in a data warehouse.
Castle said Perficient is an IBM Authorised Training Partner (ATP) and has a lot of experience in developing material for and conducting boot camps. The systems integration company also has maintained a focus on Big Data initiatives such as large enterprise data warehouses and business analytics. “We’ve been in the big warehouse business for some time; we’ve always held a Big Data position.”
“Companies are amassing up to petabytes of information during peak hours of operations, and they see an opportunity to use this data to gain new insights into their customers and get ahead of the competition,” said Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM Information Management, in a statement. “Uncovering insights hidden among data in existing IT systems, and outside of the firewall in social networks, on clouds, and from mobile devices, requires today’s IT professionals to possess new skills.”
Krishna said IBM’s goal for this year is to attempt to get 10,000 Oracle Database professionals to “expand their skills with IBM Software to more rapidly achieve their business goals.”