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The University of Stirling is one of a group of universities to join a data analytics education programme from data catalogue provider Alation.
The supplier has announced three more universities as participants in its Data Intelligence Project, which exposes students to its technology. These are the University of Stirling, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Arkansas, and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Stirling is the first non-US university to participate in the programme.
Kevin Swingler, head of the division of computer science and mathematics at the University of Stirling, said: “The modern world relies on data to innovate and grow in the digital era. We prime our students with analytical acumen that will help them use data-driven decision-making to build a better world. Alation’s Data Intelligence Project augments our curriculum, bringing critical real-world experience with software that better prepares students for career success.”
The programme was launched in 2021 and aims to build a “more data-literate, curious and rational world by nurturing the next generation of data professionals”, according to Alation.
Academic institutions get to use the supplier’s “data intelligence platform” free of charge. This includes its data catalogue, which is a collection of metadata combined with data management and search tools.
The programme also enables students and teachers to access guest speakers from Alation, with expertise in data topics such as analytics, data science and engineering. The supplier also boasts a “university” that provides access to courses, such as one on data governance.
“Alation’s Data Intelligence Project augments our curriculum, bringing critical real-world experience with software that better prepares students for career success”
Kevin Swingler, University of Stirling
Alation is not the only data management supplier to offer free access to its technology to students. SAS announced, in 2021, the expansion of a free data skills for jobseekers programme it had announced earlier that year. The programme was geared towards placing in employment people who were adversely affected by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is participating in the Alation programme for a third year. Maria Haigh, assistant professor at the university, said: “Data intelligence is one of the fastest-growing occupational fields, a highly sought-after role nearly every industry is hiring for. However, many undergraduate programmes do not provide the technical data literacy skills or real-world experience students need to succeed beyond the classroom. Partnering with Alation allows us to tailor our curriculum to real-world demand and provide our students with the tools and experience they need to ignite their career paths, no matter the industry.”
Russell McMahon, associate professor at the University of Cincinnati, added testimony: “Alation is foundational to the class I teach, data technology administration. It brings a sense of reality, fun and excitement to learning …. What’s more, data governance is a relatively new field, and understanding how to manage data is extremely important.”
For the supplier, Aaron Kalb, chief data and analytics officer (CDAO) and co-founder, said: “At Alation, our vision is to make a more curious and rational world, where all decisions are data-informed. Our data intelligence software helps achieve that vision, but that utopian world also requires a data-literate workforce. So, it’s our responsibility to help academic institutions train the workforce of the future.”
The supplier said it would choose up to four new academic institutions to participate in the programme in 2023. More than 420 students have used Alation in their courses to date, it added.
Read more about universities and data management providers
- SAS steps up free data skills programme for jobseekers: SAS expands free skills programme, aiming it at people who have been adversely affected by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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- The importance of continued business analytics education: Business professionals can expand career opportunities by engaging in educational resources for business analytics, a key driver of data-driven decision-making and business success.