Majoring in big data

Big data is now big business and big money, as companies work to translate vast amounts of data into knowledge about their customers and their people, the things they make and how they make it, Iowa Now reports. So big that the Department of Labor projects 25 percent growth in the need for workers trained in analytics through 2018. The University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business hopes to help meet that demand by establishing one of the first undergraduate business school majors to address big data. The major— Business Analytics and Information Systems(BAIS)—will teach students to manage vast amounts of data, teasing out what secrets it holds, and then use that information to strengthen their business. Using data to manage a business is nothing new, of course. Companies have relied on various statistics and figures for years to track their business and make informed plans for their future. But with new and improved data gathering and storage methods, businesses have gone beyond simply descriptive statistics into predictive and prescriptive analytics, which manipulates all this data to unearth revelations unseen before.

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