“We’re trying to launch more analytics-focused courses, so we’d like students to have hands-on experience with the software,” he said. “This will really open the door … and remove constraints for students to have more access to something they need to understand.”

Myers has become known for his analytics prowess in recent years, using SAS’s Enterprise Miner program to analyze substitution and results data for Spanish, German, Italian, and English soccer clubs, along with Major League Soccer teams in the US.

Myers’ use of analytics helped create a formula that doubled soccer teams’ odds of “improving goal differential,” according to SAS.

“The initiative on the part of SAS to make its products available at no cost to academia is a huge victory for professors and students alike looking to enhance their research capabilities,” Myers said.

The emergence of analytics studies in higher education was highlighted in the partnership between Yale University’s School of Management Center for Customer Insights and IBM. Yale business students will get free access to IBM’s analytics technology and curriculum that, until recently, was only essential in the IT world.

Job market data has driven colleges and universities to focus on analytics curriculum.

Demand for professionals with management analysis skills will increase 24 percent by 2019, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There will also be a 22 percent increase in demand for operation research analysts and a 13 percent jump in demand for statisticians.

Ivan Dremov, a student in Yale’s School of Management, said business recruiters have made it clear during campus visits that students need to be able to do more than analyze web-based customer data; they should be able to tell decision makers what that data means in plain English.

“Many recruiters on campus have said they need analytical skills, and working with large data sets, and to be able to communicate that with clients,” he said.


Add your opinion to the discussion.