Skilled BI students in short supply

By Dawinderpal Sahota
27 Jun 2011 View Comments

Universities worldwide are failing to produce graduates skilled in business intelligence (BI) who also understand business issues, according to an international survey conducted by a body called the Business Intelligence Congress.

The body comprises business intelligence professors and industry professionals and meets on an annual basis.

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The study, entitled "The State of Business Intelligence in Academia 2010", stated that too often, graduates have a highly technical understanding of BI, without the requisite understanding of commerce required to apply those skills to business needs.

Conversely, graduates who have a broad understanding of business, lack the deep understanding to capably perform BI, according to its authors.

The survey also showed that there is a huge pent-up demand for graduates with good BI and business knowledge.

Businesses are most interested in students with hands-on BI experience (74 per cent), experience with emerging topics (66 per cent), and working with large data sets (54 per cent).

Scott Gnau, chief development officer at Teradata, which co-hosted the last congress meeting said: "Business intelligence is a new career role, a function that sits between the technologists and the business.

"These people have to know the language and problems that are unique to a particular industry, they need to look into the operational side to understand what data objects are required, and they must have a full understanding of analysis."

Some 339 students from 62 universities worldwide took part in the survey.

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