There’s a Big Data skills gap in higher education

College graduates who have the skills to piece together otherwise disparate data points from across an institution — whether it’s a business or university — will be in high demand as data takes on a prominent role in industry, Baranello said.

“We’ve seen a large shift in sharing that data so they can share that information and answer bigger questions,” she said. “Data opens up so many possibilities, and [SAS Analytics U] will open a lot of minds to those possibilities.”

Ohio State University is set to launch the country’s first-ever Big Data degree program after university officials said the school would spend $52 million on campus centers for analyzing data.

The importance of people in the rise of Big Data was a central talking point among officials at January’s White House Datapalooza, where White House deputy chief technology officer Nick Sinai said, “Data is only worth something if you apply it.”

SAS software is used at more than 70,000 sites in 139 countries.