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Data literacy in high demand; academia responds

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A new degree program at Carnegie Mellon University and an online data science training course at MIT are focused on arming those in the workforce with new skills.

On the face of it, the two programs appear to have little in common. CMU’s master’s degree in product management is a year-long program ideally for software engineers. MIT’s Data Science: Data to Insights is a six-week course for those interested in stretching their statistical or data science muscles.

But both programs underscore the need for a data literate workforce — within IT and outside of it. This installment of The Data Mill looks at how two premier academic institutions continue to tweak their programs to meet the data literacy demands of the modern enterprise.

One of the things I’ve seen with my time in industry and my time in academia is that it takes a while for academia to respond to changes in the labor market and in the job market,” said Robert Monroe, associate teaching professor of business technologies and director of the online hybrid MBA at CMU’s Tepper School of Business. “But we do change and adjust.”

Data science and modern applications

A six-week online course from the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) is an advanced training ground for those looking to expand their data literacy. As part of a host of topics, the course will cover recommendation systems and network algorithms, which Devavrat Shah, co-director of the online course and one of 10 instructors, described as the crux of modern applications.

“Recommendations show up in many forms,” said Shah, director of MIT’s Statistics and Data Science Center and a faculty member at the MIT IDSS. “It’s not just about Amazon and products or Netflix and movies.”

The topic of recommendation systems is an example of a modern app that mixes big data analytics with machine learning algorithms. Shah believes recommendation engines should be built using probabilistic graphical models, which map out relationships between people and, in the case of Amazon, for example, products. “What one tries to do is one tries to learn the relationship or structure in terms of people’s preferences through these probabilistic graphical models,” he said.

Network algorithms use the graphical models to make inferences which, in time, lead to recommendation updates, he said. He called recommendation systems “a new class of statistical problems” — a bridge beyond regression and hypothesis testing.

“It’s a very rich problem,” Shah said.

Seeking software engineers

A new master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University is aimed at meeting a surge in demand for product managers.

The role of the product manager, who shepherd products to market, has been a fixture in technology companies for decades. But that’s changing, according to CMU’s Monroe.

“Companies that have not historically thought of themselves as technology companies are finding they need to take more of the product management mindset and approach to building their products,” he said. “As a result, we’re seeing greater demand for software engineers, product managers, data scientists — and we’re seeing that demand in a much broader set of companies.”

Finding candidates with a mix of the business and technology skills needed to excel in the role is difficult at best. Product managers should not only understand the business use case and act as a voice of the customer, but they also need to “work closely with engineers and product developers to bring the product to life,” Monroe said. They need to be technologically competent because they guide how the product is built, advise developers on what new features to add and help set a realistic schedule for development.

“We’ve been calling them gems,” he said. “Rare gems.”

The Master of Science in Product Management, a joint program between the computer science and business schools, is an attempt to make those rare gems easier to find. Unlike the school’s two-year product management MBA track, the new master’s degree is a one-year program for the data literate.

“It’s much easier to take somebody who’s spent four years learning to be a really good software engineer … and give them the basic business skills they need in a year or so than it is to take somebody with no technical background but good business skills and give them sufficient technical depth,” he said.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

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Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/opinion/Data-literacy-in-high-demand-academia-responds

Big Data

Vodafone and Unisys team up to boost IT services in digitalisation bet

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MADRID (Reuters) – British telecom operator Vodafone said on Wednesday it had partnered with information technology firm Unisys to launch ‘Vodafone Digital Factory’ to boost its range of IT services as businesses digitise their activity amid the pandemic.

Vodafone hopes to strengthen its portfolio of specialised digital tools for companies looking to integrate their systems or develop specific software for their platforms, said business general manager Daniel Jimenez.

Unisys will help Vodafone’s corporate clients integrate and develop technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality or blockchain, Ana Rubia, general manager of Unisys Spain, said in a statement.

Mobile and broadband firms across Europe, struggling with shrinking profit and high costs to meet next-generation connectivity demands, have tried to extract value from their IT, cloud, big data and IoT units amid the acceleration of use cases for such services during the pandemic.

(Reporting by Cristina Galán, additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Inti Landauro and Steve Orlofsky)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/vodafone-unisys-team-boost-it-services-digitalisation-bet/16691

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Big Data

Vodafone and Unisys team up to boost IT services in digitalisation bet

Published

on

MADRID (Reuters) – British telecom operator Vodafone said on Wednesday it had partnered with information technology firm Unisys to launch ‘Vodafone Digital Factory’ to boost its range of IT services as businesses digitise their activity amid the pandemic.

Vodafone hopes to strengthen its portfolio of specialised digital tools for companies looking to integrate their systems or develop specific software for their platforms, said business general manager Daniel Jimenez.

Unisys will help Vodafone’s corporate clients integrate and develop technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality or blockchain, Ana Rubia, general manager of Unisys Spain, said in a statement.

Mobile and broadband firms across Europe, struggling with shrinking profit and high costs to meet next-generation connectivity demands, have tried to extract value from their IT, cloud, big data and IoT units amid the acceleration of use cases for such services during the pandemic.

(Reporting by Cristina Galán, additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Inti Landauro and Steve Orlofsky)

Image Credit: Reuters

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/vodafone-unisys-team-boost-it-services-digitalisation-bet/16691

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After Flipkart, Amazon files appeal at India’s Supreme Court in antitrust probe

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday filed an appeal with India’s top court against a state court’s order that allowed an antitrust probe against the U.S. firm and Walmart’s Flipkart to continue, according to source and court listings.

A court in south India last week dismissed cases filed by Amazon and Flipkart which sought to quash the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) 2020 investigation on accusations that the companies circumvent Indian law by creating complex business structures.

The companies have denied wrongdoing, but the state court in Karnataka said “they should not feel shy in facing an inquiry.”

Details of Amazon’s plea were not immediately clear. The Supreme Court website showed the case listing of an appeal, without giving further details.

Flipkart challenged the decision in the Supreme Court on Tuesday and has requested a restraint on the CCI after the watchdog asked 32 “sensitive” questions in mid July, in what the firm called an “invasive” investigation.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy)

Image Credit: Reuters

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/after-flipkart-amazon-files-appeal-indias-supreme-court-antitrust-probe/16690

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Big Data

After Flipkart, Amazon files appeal at India’s Supreme Court in antitrust probe

Published

on

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday filed an appeal with India’s top court against a state court’s order that allowed an antitrust probe against the U.S. firm and Walmart’s Flipkart to continue, according to source and court listings.

A court in south India last week dismissed cases filed by Amazon and Flipkart which sought to quash the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) 2020 investigation on accusations that the companies circumvent Indian law by creating complex business structures.

The companies have denied wrongdoing, but the state court in Karnataka said “they should not feel shy in facing an inquiry.”

Details of Amazon’s plea were not immediately clear. The Supreme Court website showed the case listing of an appeal, without giving further details.

Flipkart challenged the decision in the Supreme Court on Tuesday and has requested a restraint on the CCI after the watchdog asked 32 “sensitive” questions in mid July, in what the firm called an “invasive” investigation.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy)

Image Credit: Reuters

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/after-flipkart-amazon-files-appeal-indias-supreme-court-antitrust-probe/16690

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