Walton College Professor and IE Alumnus, Recognized With IBM Big Data Faculty Award

David E. Douglas, a university professor of information systems in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, is one of 14 professors worldwide to be recognized with a 2013 Big Data and Analytics Faculty Award from IBM.

 The 14 professors singled out for the award will each receive $10,000 for top-rated curricula designed to develop the business and technical skills required for data-crunching jobs. The winning proposals include programs focused on computer science/electrical engineering, business administration, economics, strategic management and math and statistics.

“We are thrilled to receive a Big Data and Analytics Faculty Award from IBM,” Douglas said. “This partnership is truly a tremendous win for our students as we prepare them for the future. The timing couldn’t be better as the information systems department starts its online graduate business analytics certificate program this fall.”

Douglas received the award for continuing to develop business analytics course modules designed for teaching customer insights and discovery using a number of datasets hosted by the University of Arkansas, including demographic data provided by major corporations with a focus on data mining and visualization of big data — the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information generated daily from such sources as sensors, RFID networks, mobile devices and social media.

Information systems students and faculty in Walton College benefit from one of the best enterprise infrastructures available to an information systems department. Enterprise systems in the college consist of four major information technology platforms: IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Teradata.

Two notable features of enterprise systems in Walton College: It is the only business school that runs SAP Business Warehouse on an academic only IBM z10 mainframe and also the only business school to have its own Teradata system for solely academic purposes.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with data analytics skills over the next eight years. The need for this specialized talent is fueled by the explosion of big data. As a result, employers in every industry are seeking job candidates who can uncover insights from data to solve problems, act on findings, enter new markets and gain a competitive advantage.

IBM is collaborating with more than 1,000 academic partners to develop curricula that reflect the mix of technical and problem-solving skills that is necessary to prepare students for big data and analytics careers, across all industries. These collaborations span a variety of majors — including business, marketing, mathematics and health services — providing schools with access to IBM big data and analytics software, curriculum materials, case study projects and IBM data scientists who visit classes as guest lecturers.

Dr. Douglas graduated from the Industrial Engineering program with a BSIE in 1969, an MSIE in 1971 and in 1973 he received his doctorate. He is also a 2008 Inductee into the Arkansas Academy of Industrial Engineering.

Release date: 8/19/2013