FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 24, 2014
BURNABY, BC, 24 November 2014: BCIT announced today at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum that it has launched a Centre of Excellence in Analytics. The aim of the Centre is to advance knowledge in analytics in response to an increasing demand among businesses for graduates with these skills. To launch the centre, Chris Burton, global vice president of SAP sponsorships, will talk about how analytics is used in sports, citing the German Football Association’s use of data analytics to help its team win the World Cup.
The Centre—which is the result of collaboration between BCIT and enterprise software company SAP—offers courses in applied analytics and business intelligence, teaching students how to make data-driven business decisions by transforming vast amounts of data into valuable information. The Centre will also support local businesses’ analytics goals through projects and applied research.
“One of our primary goals is to bring together the analytics community for collaboration, innovation, and sharing of best practices to support and grow the sector here in BC,” says Jenness Murray, chair of the Centre of Excellence in Analytics. “We are the Silicon Valley of the North, a tech hub with the capacity to be leaders in the field.”
BCIT Analytics students will learn how to identify and extract key information from complex data. More importantly, they will learn how to use analytical models to make decisions, discover trends, make predictions, and forecast to avoid problems. These are skills that can be employed in every sector such as business, law enforcement, energy or healthcare.
“Analytics is all about using information to forecast marketplace changes, mitigate risks, and seize opportunities for growth,” says Ms. Murray. “Demand for these skills is increasing dramatically as companies strategize to manage and interpret diverse sources of information and complex databases.”
SAP is working with BCIT as part of a larger strategy to address the looming technology skills gap. By creating technology career pathways that span both secondary and post-secondary education, SAP hopes to ensure there is a robust talent pipeline to effectively resource the ever-growing technology field.
“The need for experts in analytics and cloud technologies in addition to programming skills will grow sizably over the next three years according to Workforce 2020, a global survey conducted by Oxford Economics,” said Kirsten Sutton, managing director, SAP Labs Canada. “The survey found that less than half of Canadian employees – 44 percent – expect to be proficient with most of these skills in three years, with only 19 percent claiming proficiency today. That’s what makes our initiatives with BCIT and other educational organizations so important. Education plays a huge role in closing the skills gap in STEM-related jobs, and we believe these initiatives will help create a wider talent pool of technology-focused graduates for Canadian companies to draw upon.”
Analytic skills are used in a wide variety of industries including sports. The 2011 blockbuster Moneyball shined a light on the practice of sports analytics, bringing number crunching out of the confines of back offices and onto a screen that made even spreadsheets seem thrilling. Today, you’ll find many sports organizations across the globe using data to improve their game strategy—similar to how businesses are using data to improve their decision-making and increase their bottom line.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology is celebrating 50 years of applied education, and has been integral to building the economic, social, and environmental prosperity of British Columbia since 1964, producing more than 155,000 career-ready graduates over that time. BCIT offers degrees, diplomas and certificates in a variety of polytechnic studies, educating 48,000 full and part-time students annually.
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