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USF Muma College of Business partners with IBM to create the next generation of citizen data scientists

In a continuing effort to help give students a competitive edge in the workforce, the University of South Florida Muma College of Business is partnering with IBM Watson Analytics. Through this new relationship, each student will be entitled to a subscription of Watson™ Analytics Student Edition at no cost.

The Muma College of Business will be offering all of its students complimentary access to Watson Analytics. The end goal is to help prepare students for the new demands of the workforce. This analytics software will help prepare the next generation of "citizen" data scientists and be instrumental in helping close a critical skills gap identified in the workforce.

Watson Analytics is a cloud-based analytics service that enables a business user to be a "citizen data scientist" and easily find answers within the data. It automates the process of going from business question to actionable insights and reduces dependence on scarce analytics expertise. The service guides users through advanced analytics so they can answer questions and discover new insights.

At a time where employers expect individuals at all levels of the organization to use raw data for new insights, students need to be prepared to deliver. Where once organizations relied on data scientists or IT to prepare and interpret data, now marketing, sales, operations, finance and HR professionals are being asked to get answers they need from all types of data — on their own.

"Data scientist was recently named the best job in America by Glassdoor, and this Watson Analytics partnership will help all our students be citizen data scientists - whether they intend to go into data analytics full-time or not," said Moez Limayem, dean of the Muma College of Business. "This partnership contributes to our college's distinctive identity of business analytics and creative solutions. We look forward to enabling our students to find these creative solutions with Watson Analytics."

Starting in summer 2016, Watson Analytics will be incorporated into a required core course, Information Systems in Organizations, so that every business student will graduate with experience in Watson Analytics, and eventually be certified jointly by IBM and the Muma College of Business as a "Citizen Data Scientist".