KPMG and Imperial College London are to work together to create the KPMG Centre for Advanced Business Analytics, a new hub that they hope will enable businesses to better exploit big data.
KPMG claims that it will invest over £20m in the centre, which focuses on five areas: analysis of business capital, growth opportunities, people, operations and resilience.
The overall aim of the project, the partnership claims, is to put the UK at the forefront of data science by enabling UK-based firms to launch products and services ahead of international competitors.
The centre will also look to develop new approaches, analytical methods and tools for using big data, with KPMG and Imperial stating that the centre could give enterprises the opportunity to solve complex issues, such as enabling banks to predict fraud or helping retailers better understand consumer behaviour.
The centre will be run by researchers at Imperial College Business School, and as part of the launch KPMG and Imperial have unveiled the Global Data Observatory, an initiative created to bring large and complex amounts of data together with data visualisation capabilities.
KPMG and Imperial hope the eight-year initiative will see them complete 15 to 20 projects per year.
David Willetts, the outgoing Minister of State for Universities and Science, said that the new partnership would "both accelerate the speed in which data-based research is carried out and the time it takes to commercialise new ideas into everyday practice benefiting UK businesses".
KPMG's head of digital and analytics, Alwin Magimay, said that one in five of the UK's largest companies now measures the value of corporate data on their balance sheets.
"Businesses realise that finding better ways of analysing data is the key to unlocking its profitability," he said.
Professor G ‘Anand' Anandalingham, dean of Imperial College Business School, added that the processing of huge swathes of data was a major challenge for leading businesses.
"Today's datasets are so big and complex to process that they require new ideas, tools and infrastructures. The centre aims to address these challenges by looking at how we can translate complicated information and turn it into potential solutions," he said.
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