Nurturing data analytics talent through tertiary education

With the massive increase in the volume of business data, demand for analytics will continue to grow in years to come. Gartner indicates that more than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years. In order to capitalize on the opportunities brought by data analytics, the support of professionals who can manage the collected data with the application of new technologies is critical.

However, the 2016 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) reveals that a shortage of tech talent in Hong Kong is looming and companies seeking talent for solution architecture, cloud computing and IT project management-related positions are under particular pressure. The demand for individuals with data analytics skills is now a big challenge for the commercial world, where there is a distinct lack of these merged skills.

We believe that deploying SAS analytics tools is the most effective way to build students’ professional skills and theoretical knowledge, and cater for the challenges in this data-driven business world.

Dr. Iris M H Yeung, BBA (Hons)
Business Analytics Major Leader, The City University of Hong Kong

In view of the expanding need for skilled practitioners who possess both data science and business knowledge to manage data, and create business value out of it, The City University of Hong Kong is committed to developing and offering innovative academic programmes in tertiary education which respond to emerging community needs.

The City University of Hong Kong is one of the leading tertiary education institutions to provide degree programmes in data analytics and related programmes. It began offering a bachelor’s degree programme in Business Analysis in the Department of Management Sciences, College of Business in 1985. Today, students are able to make use of the SAS tools to develop their data analysis skills throughout their academic years.

These students can become familiar with the tools and methods used to analyze data and also gain hands-on experience in improving productivity, automating and customizing data analysis, and generating advanced statistical reports for different businesses and industries supported by SAS software.

To better underpin their careers in the business analytics industry, the programme has also incorporated applications and techniques from the SAS Certified Predictive Modeler since 2001, introducing methods of data manipulation and data mining including variable selection, observation selection, outlier handling, missing value handling, predictive models and pattern recognition. Students can apply their techniques in different industries such as communications, financial services, government, insurance, hotels, manufacturing, retail and banking for analytic purposes.

Dr. Iris M H Yeung, BBA (Hons) Business Analytics Major Leader, The City University of Hong Kong, says, “In this digital age, big data is bringing tremendous opportunities to organizations, which in turn is boosting the demand for analytics professionals. Recent research indicates that one of the top three shortages of manpower in Hong Kong is tech talent. Many employers are eager to hire individuals who possess professional knowledge and skills to manage and analyze customer data for corporate development and planning.”

She is also pleased with the department’s decision to introduce SAS analytics technology into the programme. SAS software and Data Mining have been taught in this major for many years, bridging business intelligence with data analytics in various sectors. “We believe that SAS data analytics tools can provide a comprehensive and practical learning experience for our students, helping to equip them with solid data analytics knowledge across different sectors. This can further help students to prepare for positions where they will manage business activities particularly related to big data analysis, risk-management and marketing analysis in the commercial and government sectors,” adds Dr. Iris Yeung.

SAS has for years supportively nurtured young talent in the field of data analytics, and The City University of Hong Kong will also continue to support Hong Kong’s education institutes in broadening the applicability of analytics and data science with the support of SAS’s solutions in teaching. Advanced text mining and sentiment analysis across multiple interactive channels such as websites and social media are also introduced to keep pace with the rapid development of new technologies in this digital age. “We believe that deploying SAS analytics tools is the most effective way to build students’ professional skills and theoretical knowledge, and cater for the challenges in this data-driven business world,” says Dr. Iris Yeung.

CityU
department-of-management-sciences

Challenge

Shortage of tech talent and skilled practitioners of data science and business knowledge in Hong Kong. The university offers this degree program to meet the growing need for analytical professionals in the community.

Solution

Benefits

Students are equipped with analytics knowledge and skills to prepare for positions where they will manage business activities, particularly related to big data analysis, risk-management and marketing analysis in the commercial and government sectors.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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