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Bellarmine Searching For 'Big Data' Institute Director


Bellarmine University officials say they’re making progress with creating the school’s new Institute for Advanced Analytics that will begin next fall and the school has begun searching for a new executive director to lead the initiative.

The IAA is part of the Bellarmine’s multi-year plan to expand programs and will initially provide graduate level studies related to what’s being called 'big data.' The institute was modeled after North Carolina State University's institute of the same name, which has partnered with pro sports teams, airlines, even governments that need help with research or data crunching. “Much of their curriculum would be working to solve problems and develop solutions for a variety of companies ranging from pro teams to government organizations to education institutions," says Bellarmine President Joseph McGowan. Businesses and organizations arecollecting more data at quicker rates and schools have been trying to meet the demand. Eventually the program at Bellarmine expects to expand to the undergraduate level, and will likely include multiple departments, McGowan says.“Undergraduates with degrees in this area get employed very, very quickly, often before they even graduate from the program," he says. McGowan adds that while no partners have been announced yet--though Humana has gifted Bellarmine $1 million over a few years to help get the program up and running--the institute's new executive director will be searching for similar partnerships as seen at North Carolina State.At this point, it's unclear how many students will be served, he says. But McGowan anticipates the program will cross over between disciplines and majors, which may benefit from data analysis in respective areas."It’ll be very, very competitive and we’ll control the numbers. But of course we’ll want to serve our companies and serve our region so we will grow as the opportunities present themselves," he says.The IAA will eventually have a location in the new Centro facilities the school is expanding.According to Bellarmine, the IAA will eventually offer the following:

  • offering new informatics and technology degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels.
  • working to develop interdisciplinary data analysis programs that are relevant to areas of study withinBellarmine's existing schools -- including nursing and health sciences, communication, education, business and environmental studies.
  • incorporating an entrepreneurial component that will focus on healthcare informatics to draw upon the wealth of experience and opportunity available in the Louisville market.
  • ensuring that core information management and technology lessons are integrated into the liberal arts experience offered to every Bellarmine student, regardless of major.