National University of Singapore and IBM to Jointly Establish Centre for Business Analytics to Build World-Class Analytics Capabilities

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• Master of Science in Business Analytics programme to begin this August • NUS Business School and School of Computing to lead academic curriculum

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The National University of Singapore (NUS) and IBM will collaborate to jointly establish the NUS Centre for Business Analytics, in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), to help students and mid-career professionals gain the latest skills in business analytics and prepare for high value jobs in the future.

The Centre aims to address a growing demand from the industry for leaders who can make sense of large amounts of data and integrate that knowledge with their industry expertise to solve the business challenges of the future. According to Gartner, ‘Big Data’ demand will reach 4.4 million jobs globally by 2015, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled (Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2235515).    

The Centre will begin offering a new Master of Science degree programme in Business Analytics (MSBA) from August this year. Under the collaboration, NUS Business School and the School of Computing will work together to develop the academic curriculum and provide teaching support, while IBM will appoint the Centre’s Industry Director in addition to providing industry expertise and access to analytics technology and solutions.

The MSBA programme is the first in Singapore to bring together training in deep business strategy thinking and data analytics. To be conducted by full-time leading experts and faculty members from the business and computing schools of NUS, one of Asia’s leading universities, the one-year MSBA programme will admit applicants who wish to gain an integrated set of skills and knowledge in business, technical and data analytics.

The Centre will draw on NUS’ multidisciplinary strengths. With a focus on ‘big data’ analytics and technologies, as well as consumer data, financial and risk analytics, programme participants will undergo eight modules in two semesters, as well as a year-long professional consulting project in business analytics. They will be trained to devise and refine solutions to complex business analytics problems using appropriate techniques and tools, preparing them for rewarding careers such as business intelligence analysts, research analysts, data scientists, quantitative data modellers, marketing analysts, and finance analysts.

“Data analytics has been identified as an important growth sector for Singapore. By the end of 2017, it is expected to contribute S$1 billion in value-add to the economy and nurture a pool of 2,500 multi-disciplinary data analytics professionals,” said Mr Jayson Goh, Executive Director of Infocomms & Media from EDB. “We are supportive of this important collaboration to set up the Centre for Business Analytics, as it combines NUS’ research capabilities and IBM’s industry expertise. This collaboration will contribute towards building a sustainable pipeline of talent that will support Singapore’s push into data analytics.”

Added Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean and Stephen Riady Distinguished Professor, NUS Business School: “As the amount of knowledge embedded in large data sets, also known as ‘Big Data’, increases, there is a growing need for companies to have people who can analyse, distill and strategically use large amounts of information gained from various sources such as their business operations, marketing activities and sales. However, there is currently a shortage of professionals who understand analytics in the context of solving critical business issues. We therefore look forward to working with the School of Computing and IBM to plug this gap”.

“Modern economic activities, innovation, and growth go hand in hand with Big Data. This leaves companies with the task of analysing data with high volume, high velocity and variety. Business analytics enables companies to realise the full potential of data, and optimise their decision-making processes. We look forward to the partnership with NUS Business School and IBM to meet these industry demands,” said Professor Ooi Beng Chin, Distinguished Chair Professor and Dean, NUS School of Computing.

Mr Rajesh Nambiar, General Manager, IBM Services Integration Hub East, also added: “Gaining business insight through Big Data and analytics is critical and the demand for talent to help companies succeed in this increasingly digital and data driven world will only continue. We are pleased to partner with NUS and the EDB to mentor and educate the next generation of business analytics professionals and data scientists. Graduates will learn from Big Data thought leaders at IBM and will also gain access to our industry specific technology and capabilities as well as insights from our thousands of client engagements.”

“In the early 80s, when the Singapore Government had the strategic vision to computerise the civil service and develop a pool of IT manpower that will meet the future needs of the local IT industry, IBM partnered with NUS and the then National Computer Board in setting up the Institute of Systems Science,” said Ms Janet Ang, Managing Director, IBM Singapore and NUS Business School alumna. “This new collaboration reinforces our commitment to the national agenda by helping to build a future-ready workforce that will help Singapore leverage data as the new natural resource.”

More information on the MSBA can be found at http://msba.nus.edu.

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