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Smarter Analytics Workshop sponsored by the IBM Academic Initiative and DMAW Educational Foundation

by Chris Gleason

The DMAW Educational Foundation and the IBM Academic Initiative team joined resources to host the Smarter Analytics Workshop on May 14th.  The single day event took place at the computer lab of the Kogod School of Business at American University.

Professors from throughout the Mid Atlantic had barely closed the book on the school year when they landed back in the lecture hall.  With a recent survey of 1,700 CMO’s in hand, the team leader pointed to a list of findings. At the top, was this sobering statistic: 71% of CMO’s report they aren’t prepared to manage the data explosion.

The first session focused on the tools available to professors and their students. In a hands-on demonstration, the IBM team equipped the attendees with statistical modeling software designed to tackle big data. The assignment was to uncover opportunities hidden in customer data.

In closing, the professors shared their experiences and reported on both the potential challenges and benefits of using the IBM platform in the lecture hall.

The second session was devoted to solving a business objective with applied analytics.  The professors broke into four teams for a competition focused on maximizing sales and profits for a global manufacturing company.

Led by an IBM AI team member assigned to each group, the professors rolled up their sleeves. Using data driven models, each team made decisions across business silos, rearranging production, marketing, and sales as needed to meet the global objective.

In the post-game session, each team shared the rationale behind their choices. While light-hearted, the competition drove home the potential value of data analysis in facilitating sound decisions across all types of organizational structures.

In summary, the attending professors had a chance to practice varied teaching methods. They also gained insight into IBM-sponsored tools that offer the capacity to enrich curricula and train business-ready analysts and decision makers.

With the proliferation of data generating devices and digital interaction, no wonder 71% of CMO’s feel underprepared to handle BIG DATA. In this inaugural effort between IBM AI and DMAW/EF, inroads were laid for future events.

The IBM Academic Initiative is a no-charge program providing educators with the training materials, curriculum guides, software and hardware needed to teach in-demand business and technology skills. From predictive analytics to data security and vulnerability management, the Academic Initiative helps educators take students beyond the reach of the curricula offered at many Colleges and Universities.

To learn more about this, and other DMAW/EF sponsored programs please visit


CG Image DMAWChris Gleason is the Founder of Servant Marketing Group in Leesburg, VA.