IBM to open advanced analytics and cognitive computing center in Ohio

Seeks new opportunities for Watson, ways to tackle big data

IBM has announced plans to establish a new analytics center, dedicated to advancing research, development and skills training in the areas of analytics, big data and cognitive computing. The center could create 500 jobs in Columbus, Ohio over the next three years.

The IBM Client Center for Advanced Analytics will seek public and private sector collaboration, including partnerships with The Ohio State University, JobsOhio, Columbus 2020 and other Columbus-based businesses, officials say.

As part of the initiative, IBM will add as many as 500 new analytics consultants and research and development professionals to the center over three years, focused on initiatives such as creating new markets for Watson commercialization.

IBM will also partner with Ohio State to develop job-ready graduates through new course curriculum in its graduate and undergraduate programs, officials say. The new higher education collaboration between IBM and Ohio State will help develop students with the high demand analytics skills necessary to drive the economy of the future.

"Data is a powerful natural resource that if used wisely can drive U.S. economic competitiveness and lead to rewarding careers in the future dedicated to building a smarter planet," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Software Solutions Group.

"This center will have a tremendous amount to offer: world-class educational institutions, a highly-educated workforce, industry-leading businesses and – perhaps most important of all – will serve as the foundation of a community of innovators that will transform industries around the world," he added.

IBM is developing new approaches to tackling big data, such as technologies like its Watson, supercomputer, which uses deep content analysis, evidence-based reasoning and natural language processing to identify relationships buried in large volumes of data that can be used to improve decision making.

To address the need for a more analytical-skilled workforce, Ohio State and IBM are collaborating on new business and technology curricula to help students and mid-career professionals gain the latest skills in analytics and prepare for high-value jobs in the future, officials say.

"The ability to apply a wholly new level of analytical insights and solutions will bolster our nation's role as a competitive global leader and be the catalyst for the next frontier of economic growth," said E. Gordon Gee, president, The Ohio State University.

The partnership between Ohio State and IBM is meant to expand and strengthen education curricula globally to meet the growing demand for highly skilled analytics business professionals, officials say.

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