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Will the education system do more to support data quality?

Richard Jones Archive

It's clear that improving data quality could have a tremendous effect on the business world. If they had accurate information at their fingertips, companies could make better decisions about how to price their products, target consumers with marketing campaigns and provide service for loyal customers.

There are many reliable ways of ensuring data quality, ranging from address management tools for verifying contact information to email verification services that help corral online customers. Sadly, though, there isn't much awareness in the world today about how best to achieve optimal levels of data quality, and far too many professionals proceed haphazardly into their analytics ventures. More technical know-how is required.

The good news is that education can rectify this situation. Computerworld recently reported that grad schools have begun offering degrees in big data, enabling students to gain the necessary skills to become data scientists at a young age.

The University of Texas is one such school. UT's McCombs School of Business plans to launch a Masters program in business analytics this fall, as information chairman Prabhudev Konana explained to Computerworld.

"There is a lot of demand for people who can say something meaningful about the data that is accumulating," Konana said.

The University of Michigan, University of Iowa, Louisiana State, North Carolina State, Northwestern and New York University are all rumored to be opening similar programs. The importance of big data has become a prominent issue nationwide, and schools everywhere are climbing aboard the bandwagon.

They're showing up just in time. Computerworld also reported that according to McKinsey and Company data, technology is evolving too quickly for the labor pool to keep up. By 2018, there will be a mega-shortage of available data analytics workers - 190,000 positions left open with no one to fill them.

Education is the key to closing this gap. The business world of tomorrow demands only the purest data, so the workforce must do its part.