Thursday 22 February 2018

Government pumps €1m into fast-growing 'big data' sector

Peter Flanagan New Technology Correspondent

THE Government will pump €1m into a research programme for 'big data' analytics in an effort to make Ireland a centre for the industry.

Speaking at eBay's offices in Dublin, Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the State would make an initial investment in a sector that was now growing at 40pc per annum.

"We have to identify areas where we believe Ireland has distinct advantages compared to other countries, and take steps necessary to ensure that we realise our potential for employment in those areas.

"Data analytics is one such sector, and the Government believes that between our climate, skills base and existing strengths in ICT, we have the potential to reap substantial benefits in terms of jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector," he said.

Data analytics is about the conversion of large amounts of raw data into valuable information through the use of statistical techniques and advanced software.

In the US alone, it is estimated that there will be unmet demand in five to 10 years of 140,000 to 190,000 analysts and 1.5 million data-savvy managers, the government say.

Meanwhile, data giant EMC and the Irish Management Institute (IMI) have combined to set up a big data analytics executive education programme.

The new master's and diploma in data business has been designed by EMC and will be run jointly by the IMI and UCC.

The courses are aimed at professionals already working and are designed to be very much an "applied" course which can be immediately used by those taking it.

Dr Simon Boucher, of the IMI, said that the courses were aimed at "advancing the link between enterprise and academia to support the skills needed in our economy around analytics".

Around 4.4 million jobs will be created in data analytics around the world over the course of the next five years, and Ireland should be getting some of that activity, he added.

Irish Independent

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