SAS and NWU help build ICT skills by bringing analytics to students

SAS and the North West University (NWU) today announced the launch of the university's Advanced Business Analytics Centre, the first of its kind in South Africa.

Through the centre, students will have access to the Advanced Business Analytics course for post-graduates that will give them the skills to understand the role analytics can play in business's decision-making process and prepare them to become executives who can manage that function. This function can help companies to identify business issues and implement solutions two to four years faster.

Says Murray de Villiers, General Manager: Africa, Middle East Regional Academic Programme at SAS: "We realised from talking with companies that there is a real need for employees who understand analytics. Those skills weren't being taught in universities, and we want to be at the forefront of changing that."

The course, which already has 17 students signed up for 2013, is designed to take on board analytically efficient students whowill be able to get a SAS accreditation within as little as two weeks. It will bring students on par with professionals within the industry and enable them to 'hit the ground running' when they find employment.

Over and above the analytics theory students will learn, each of them will be part of multi-disciplinary team running industry projects with companies such as NASPERS, MTN, ABSA, Nedbank and Standard Bank. The projects will allow them to work with mentors to analyse business issues and provide real-life solutions that can be implemented by the companies.

Says De Villiers: "Our relationship with NWU dates back eight years and we are proud to be partnering with the university to launch the Advanced Business Analytics Centre, which we hope will be the first of many. NWU's leadership has been crucial in launching the centre as they have made many resources available to us. They have taken the need for analytics skills to heart and are changing the playing field for South African education."

"There's no denying that, to compete in the modern marketplace, you have to be able to interpret massive amounts of data and be able to turn on a dime with your decision-making. It's very clear that in business, if you're afraid of using analytics, you're going to get left behind."

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 80,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.


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