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By Dr. Myles Vogel, University Dean of IT, Computer Science and Engineering

CTU Information Technology Degree - Big DataBig data is more than just hype from the tech world. The proliferation of information across multiple dimensions is real. It comes from everywhere, from cellphone GPS signals, to purchase records and to the updates we make to our favorite social media websites.

Just how big is big data? Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, according to IBM. Ninety percent of the data in the world has been created in the last two years alone. That’s a lot of data to unravel and it’s one of the key trends that are driving a shift in the IT skill set.

Big data demands forward-thinking people who can evaluate large sets of numbers and information, and then draw conclusions to help a business make key decisions. It takes excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, but also the ability to influence the business, while owning and driving business results.

So then, it’s not just training in specific technologies or information systems, but an education in finance, marketing and strategy that will provide a strong foundation for an IT professional.

Moreover, big data epitomizes the dynamic nature of technology. Technology has moved toward Software as a Service (SaaS), mobile apps, cloud and other developments, which takes the IT professional’s knowledge and experience to keep the organization ahead of the curve.

Such technologies must be designed and continually enhanced by professionals with a broad knowledge of what is needed now, of what the future will demand and how they all fit together. IT administrators need a deep, specialized knowledge of how these applications can address a particular set of problems or tasks in an overall business process.

Yet the fact remains, individuals with such diverse traits, knowledge and capabilities are rare. So organizations intent on meeting the demands of a big data era must educate and build an IT team with both technical capabilities and business acumen. Ultimately, it will be a team that helps a company to unravel the complexity of big data and distinguish itself from its competitors with quality solutions, price, customer service and operational efficiencies.

CTU Faculty - Myles VogelDr. Myles Vogel, is the University Dean of Information Technology, Computer Science and Engineering at Colorado Technical University. As a former CIO, Dr. Myles Vogel brings over 25 years of experience in IT for domestic and international firms within the oil, tech and medical industries. Connect with Dr. Myles Vogel on Twitter @CTUTech.

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