Deakin University has launched a masters course focusing on big data analytics, to address an industry demand for advanced analytics skills.
The term big data is often used to describe the massive amount of structured and unstructured data generated by everything from internet transactions to scientific endeavour.
Big data analytics strives to understand patterns within the data to obtain a business advantage.
“There is a huge understanding [in the industry] of the advantages that come from analysing and acting on big data,” said Professor Dineli Mather, head of Deakin's School of Information Systems.
“The key is converting information into insights.”
Deakin's big data masters course will be administered through the Centre for Excellence in Business Analytics, with support from IBM, and accept between 40 and 50 students a year.
IBM will provide software tools, course consultation and speakers, said Mike McKee, Business Analytics Business Unit Executive, IBM Australia and New Zealand.
IBM is also developing an analytics certification for its tools, which will be provided to qualified students for free.
Mather expected the course to appeal to people already employed in business analytics, and produce graduates with lucrative job prospects.
Big consulting firms were all investing heavily in big data, she said, and in need of staff with the appropriate skills to analyse and act on data insights.
Mather said Deakin's partnership with IBM was the logical result of talks between the two entities.
IBM had an existing relationship with the University, as well as big data analytics partnerships with universities in the United States, Canada and Singapore.