IBM recently announced that it has expanded its Academic Initiative, a program that gives universities free access to the company’s latest technology, to include Michigan State University. The article “IBM expands Watson education push with deal at Michigan University” tells us more about the tie-up:
Under the plan, the University would be making the Watson system available for a number of courses in areas ranging from business strategy and management to marketing and analysis course.
The company said that the deal with Michigan State is part of a larger push to train students on the Watson platform in preparation for careers as data analysts.
Other universities that IBM collaborates with include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. This move by IBM to give students from the top schools hands-on experience in Watson and in Big Data analytics is really commendable. With the ever-increasing amount of information presenting itself as one of the most pressing challenges to businesses of this generation, there’s certainly a need for more data analysts. In a way, this program serves as a safety net for IBM in case the company would find itself in need of skilled data analysts.
But there are open source Big Data solutions out there that don’t require an expensive education for access. Because they’re open source, anyone can study the code, tweak it, and use it as a base for their own applications. Many companies have already taken advantage of the concept of open source and one of them is LucidWorks. Through their collaboration with search experts in the open source community, they have created the LucidWorks Big Data and LucidWorks Search platforms, both of which aim to make it extremely easy for organizations to get started with enterprise search built on open source solutions.
Lauren Llamanzares, September 28, 2012