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Helping students understand big data

November 26, 2013

Jeff Pittges, Associate Professor of IT, Radford University teaches classes on database warehousing, mining and reporting. This allows him to have a view into what trends are emerging and how students can be prepared to meet the needs of industry.

When it comes to those needs, Jeff points out that big data is really changing the landscape and also creating a lot of interest from students. The focus is now on the different ways of collecting, processing and storing data.

The problem with building the skills needed to process big data is often as basic as gaining access to real-world big datasets, something universities don’t typically have. This is just one of the roles industry can play when it comes to partnering with universities, the other is offering access to the tools. Jeff points out that IBM is helping in this respect, providing guest speakers and face-to-face training.

The IBM Teach the Trainer sessions have been particularly useful, as was the EdCon session prior to Information On Demand, providing the opportunity to collaborate and share best practices with other faculty.

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