Growth of Data
As I was starting to write this blog, a colleague from the Marketing Department sent me an interesting article about The Moore’s Law of Big Data with some really interesting examples of the enormous size and scope of big data. It seems that this famous law, which influenced many aspects of information technology and electronics for the almost five decades, can also be used to govern the era of big data. The law implies that the amount of data available is doubling every two years. In 2011 alone, measurement data, music and video files generated 1.8 zettabytes of data. As the article noted, “if all 7 billion people on Earth joined Twitter and continually tweeted for one century, they would generate one zettabyte of data.” As the world is experiencing a verge of a big data revolution, the city of Chattanooga is already one big step ahead. The gigabit infrastructure offers the fastest possible connection to the big data. As such, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is in a unique position to facilitate new synergies between Chattanooga businesses and big data.
Effects on Business World
The big data, as many other trends in the IT revolution, is an unintentional consequence: the support of business processes with information technology led to automatic capture of massive data. However, there is no doubt that organizations are becoming more competitive with business analytics. A recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review indicates that 67 percent of companies are using data analytics to gain competitive advantage compared to only 37 percent in 2010. We know many interesting big data examples from Target, Walmart, Amazon, Google, or LinkedIn. The December issue of Harvard Business Review cited First Tennessee Bank as an excellent example of increasing its ROI 600 percent by using data analytics for better customer marketing. Data mining is being utilized in many local and small businesses. We at the College of Business at UTC are learning from and working in great real world data analytics cases in companies such as BCBST, Unum, McKee Food, Blood Assurance, and other local businesses.
Bringing it Locally
Considering the unique position of Chattanooga as the number one city in the western hemisphere with the fastest Internet connection, as well as, the increasing demand for data analytics in the region, the College of Business at UTC is offering its first certificate in business analytics starting in the Fall 2013. The program is designed to meet the market need with highly skilled data analysts. The certificate is co-sponsored by SAS Inc. and is bench-marked after the best data analytics programs around the country. As we move forward, the College of Business is exploring new opportunities which will leverage the gigabit capabilities in Chattanooga. Besides the certification program, we are focused on potential benefits of creating a research center for analytics, building a server clusters for distributed computing, and forming industry consortiums with focus on relevant industries in the region such as healthcare, insurance, banking, or logistics.