NWC to offer online analytics program

Northwestern College will offer an analytics certificate program online, starting this summer. The certificate is a useful credential for professionals who want to open new career paths by specializing in the management of immense datasets such as those made possible via cloud computing.

The new analytics certificate program prepares professionals to apply the science of data analysis to the modern phenomenon of “big data,”—that is, data whose scale or complexity outstrips traditional methods for management or information gathering.

“‘Big data’ is often unstructured and difficult to manipulate in a relational database system,” says computer science professor Dr. Thomas Tiahrt, who is directing the certificate program. Instead, the data needs to be managed with statistical techniques implemented via computer technology. “And increasingly there’s a demand for professionals who know how to do that,” he says.

According to a June 2011 article posted on computerworld.com (“Colleges lack BI [business intelligence], analytics concentration”), “by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of … 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.”

Northwestern’s six-course program, offered entirely online, is designed to be completed in 12 months (three semesters); classes start May 20.

For more information or to apply, contact Dr. Rebecca Hoey, director of online learning, at 712-707-7388 or online@nwciowa.edu