Dixons Carphone has signed a partnership with University of Edinburgh Business School as part of a major initiative to champion and develop the role of data science and analytics in business education.
As business becomes ever more digital and data-driven, the company is putting its money where its mouth is in the £500,000 programme to develop graduate knowledge and skills in data science and analytics.
The collaboration will help fund a major drive to develop teaching and research in data science within the Business School.
This partnership was launched at an event this week, with big data leaders from Google, Experian and Optima speaking about developments and challenges in managing customer data and analytics for competitive advantage in business.
It will give students and scholars the latest insights to help them master the big data skills needed to analyse consumer behaviour, retail and marketing trends. It will also see the creation of a new full-time academic role, devoted to championing big data and give the school access to cutting-edge software and data for teaching and research.
In addition, a number of Dixons Carphone scholarships will be offered to promising applicants to the school’s MSc and MBA programmes.
Professor Ian Clarke, Dean of University of Edinburgh Business School, said: “Big data is now ubiquitous, so it’s essential we equip the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs with the skills to manage and analyse it, for the benefit of organisations and their customers.
“By linking up with one of Europe’s leading consumer brands we will ensure our students have access to the latest applied insights and software, and can gain hands-on experience in this rapidly developing field, to further strengthen their employment prospects on graduation.”
The retail giant also hopes to create opportunities for Business School graduates who take part in the initiative.
Dixons Carphone e-commerce director Stuart Ramage said: “We welcome the innovative approach Edinburgh’s leading academics are taking in giving students real-world applied data-analytics experience during their studies.
“Our e-commerce operation has been built around the effective utilisation of consumer analytics. With this new partnership we therefore want to play our part in building a new generation of data-savvy, business graduates who will help drive our company and the industry forward.”
John Davis, industry head at Google UK, also spoke at the launch. He commented: “Actionable, data-driven insights are key to driving business performance, so we need to upskill the future workforce who can tap into these opportunities. This new partnership between business educators and analytics practitioners is a very welcome step in the right direction.”
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