List: The need to train developers to use big data requires both vendors and businesses working to tackle a shortage of skills.
The rapid rise to fame of big data has left vendors and businesses alike scrambling to transform data into something that is valuable and not just a burden on storage.
One of the key challenges that have been faced in getting businesses to embrace big data is the skills gap. While this isn’t a problem that is limited to big data, it is one that has to be resolved quickly for the opportunity to be fully grasped.
To help with the skills gap a number of vendors and companies have been developing big data centres that are designed to train developers and businesses.
CBR lists some of the major big data centres around the world and what they are offering.
IBM has been putting its global presence to good work for many years with training hubs for numerous technologies and big data is no different.
The company has opened four Bluemix Garages around the world with one in San Francisco, Toronto, London, and now Nice.
Although these hubs are mainly focused on development in on the IBM Cloud, they have a focus on developing technical skills for developers that will help them build all kinds of tools and intelligent apps, this includes big data related applications.
In addition to this, Big Blue has created a high performance computing and big data centre of excellence in the UK.
Through work with the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, the company has helped to establish the Hartree Power Acceleration and Design Centre in Daresbury, Cheshire. This facility specialises in modelling and simulation in the use of big data analytics.
IBM contributes at least 24 researchers at the centre, data-centric and cognitive computing technologies and joint commercialisation of intellectual property assets that are produced in partnership with the STFC.
It may be a surprise to see an insurance company in this list, but businesses in this area have to be extremely data savvy so create hubs that helps to encourage the use of data analytics in new and innovative ways is a good way to increase knowledge inside its own business as well as developer skills outside of it.
Aviva’s digital garage which is based in Hoxton Square, London, is part of an on-going effort to harness big data analytics in order to both remain competitive and to boost profitability.
The company has history in making this work, for example it discovered that pension savers tend to be better drivers, so it offers car insurance discounts to its pension customers.
The digital garage has developed a system that will allow customers to see all their Aviva products on one screen. Aviva has also opened a digital garage in Singapore.
SAS has forged a name for itself as one of the leading data analytics companies, spreading itself across a large number of industry areas that includes financial services, media and healthcare.
With analytical talent in high demand, the company created an academy for data science that aims to equip people with certifications in big data, advanced analytics and data science.
The academy for data science offers hand-on learning and case studies and uses both SAS tools along with Hadoop and other open source tools.
This isn’t the only work the company has been doing in the area. In September last year the company revealed that it was investing €40 million to expand its operations in Ireland. The company decided to open an Inside Sales and Customer Contact Centre in Dublin, the idea behind is to both drive big data sales but also to increase the access to skilled data workers.
4. Alan Turing Institute
Named after the pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist, Alan Turing, the institute has been established as the UK national institute for data sciences.
The purpose of the institute is to undertake research in the data sciences across computer science, mathematics, statistics, and systems engineers.
Not only does it feed information to policy makers on the wider implications of algorithms, but it also works with senior business leaders across private and public to help train them in the business of data and analytics.
Founded in 2015 through with £42m of funding to cover the first five years of operation, it is made up of five founder universities: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, University College London and Warwick.
There is less focus on training with the institute, instead it aims to attract the brightest minds and then produce work that can significantly influence policy makers through the use of data analytics.
5. UCL and Elsevier
A collaborative effort between UCL and Elsevier, a provider of scientific, technical and medical information products, created the UCL Big Data Institute.
The institute is designed to explore ways to better serve researchers through the exploration of new technologies and analytics.
This highlights the broad range of big data analytics areas of use with it linking analytics and scientific content in order to enable scientists to be better at what they do.
Elsevier is funding research and studentships through the institute in order to help educate more people in its use. UCL meanwhile has been working on a number of joint initiatives that are aimed at helping to connect big data and research analytics with the sciences.