Demand for business intelligence across industries and around the world is growing fast — and workers who are uniquely skilled to gather, analyze and report such mission-critical information are poised to lead their markets.
Global sales of business intelligence (BI) tools generated $10.5 billion in revenue in 2010 — up 13.4 percent over the previous year, according to market research firm Gartner.
Industry experts agree that smart BI tools are only one part of an important equation. For the best results, they must be used by efficient and effective researchers, analysts and communicators.
However, the world’s workforce isn’t equipped to meet skyrocketing demands for business intelligence — which include continual and forward-looking analyses of a competitive marketplace. Colleges and universities are woefully behind in offering instruction that prepares graduates to meet employers’ actual needs, according to an international survey sponsored by Business Intelligence Congress II, a meeting of BI professors and industry professionals.
Of 129 colleges and universities surveyed, only three offered BI instruction at the undergraduate level, and only 12 offered BI instruction in graduate programs.
“Also, students are not being exposed to a BI that reflects real-world context,” said Barbara Wixom, an associate professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce who also directs Teradata University Network, which conducted the survey.
Universities are struggling to provide students with real-world training partly because companies don’t want to provide their proprietary information for classroom instruction — making it hard for professors like Wixom to develop adequate BI curricula.
That juggernaut is not going to slow demand for BI-savvy employees. In the United States alone, roughly 190,000 workers with “deep analytical talent” and another 1.5 million “data-savvy managers and analysts” will be needed by 2018, according to projections released in May by McKinsey Global Institute.
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The field of big drug makers racing to produce an effective weight-loss drug not only is narrowing, it’s almost drying up.
In the last month alone, the Food and Drug Administration has rejected approval for two new drugs and forced the withdrawal of a third that had been on the market for more than a decade. And in the last few years, several of the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest names — including Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co. and Sanofi-Aventis — have tried and failed to take anti-obesity and weight-loss drugs to market. The F.D.A. hasn’t approved a prescription diet pill since 1999, when it gave a nod to Roche’s Xenical, now the only weight-management drug approved for long-term use.
The F.D.A. hasn’t acted without its reasons — but experts say pharmaceutical companies are increasingly discouraged from working on drugs for obesity, one of the nation’s biggest health problems. One-third of Americans are obese, and another third are overweight — conditions that lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Alcohol-sales wars are brewing across the nation.
Costco this week failed in a well-funded attempt in its home state of Washington to expand its revenue from alcohol sales. The discount retail giant backed a ballot initiative that essentially would have booted alcohol distributors from the sales equation. Costco was pushing to buy alcoholic beverages directly from manufacturers. The initiative also would have made it much more difficult for Washington’s state-controlled-and-operated liquor stores to compete for business.
Ultimately, Washington voters rejected the initiative — leaving liquor stores in the state’s ownership for now.
But don’t think this fight ends here. (more…)Category: From Our Notes | Tags: alcohol, alcohol distribution, beer, Colorado, craft beer, Indiana, liquor, Travis E. Poling, Washington | No Comments »
A security engineering firm in Colorado recently drew our attention to abuse of the federal government’s Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program (SDVOSB).
Because of fraud and corporate shenanigans, hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts have been awarded to large — even multinational — corporations instead of to disadvantaged business owners who have served the United States honorably. (more…)Category: From Our Notes | Tags: federal government, military, SDVOSB, veterans | No Comments »
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