IBM is expanding its Watson Analytics academic program and launching a new student version of Watson Analytics.
The new program includes a one-year license of Watson Analytics Professional Edition for up to 100 users at no cost.
IBM rolled out the academic initiative last year to more than 400 universities worldwide.
With its consumer-friendly interface and natural-language technology, Watson Analytics enables students who do not have typical analytics or data science backgrounds to access cognitive computing capabilities.
"We had this idea of trying to get Watson Analytics into the hands of those students outside the typical analytics or data science backgrounds," says Randy Messina, public sector manager of Watson Analytics. "So with Watson Analytics, we've been able to reach those non-technical users and [to get] Watson Analytics into the hands of students beyond your typical computer science or technical majors."
With the student edition, users get IBM's premium edition and have the ability to do data exploration, predictions, and dashboarding, in addition to social media analytics.
IBM believes its effort will help create a broad base of analytics users and citizen data scientists, which could help address the data scientist shortage. "This is geared toward getting them prepared so when they do graduate they'll have a leg up and be well-versed on what industry is demanding today," Messina says.
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