IBM Launches Global Bootcamps to Help Companies Tackle Big Data Challenges

On the heels of the IBM Jeopardy! Challenge, in which the IBM Watson system demonstrated the capability to understand natural language, IBM launched a global skills initiative to educate clients, business partners, and college students on how to use IBM business analytics and information management software, and many of the underlying technologies of the Watson computing system, to capture information from new sources and use it to create business opportunities.

The skills initiative will provide IT professionals no-charge access to 1,200 onsite skills bootcamps at client, partner and university locations worldwide, at 38 IBM Innovation Centers, and online at

According to IBM, businesses need disruptive technologies such as Watson to help them capitalize on the growing volume, variety and velocity of information known as "big data." This includes the massive amount of public information available on the web, information generated by sensors, mobile devices, social networks, cloud computing, and public sources of information that are not integrated into a company's existing information management platforms. Making sense of big data requires a new set of skills that many IT professionals do not possess today. The skills bootcamps will cover topics such as big data, analytics, data management and open source technologies, including Hadoop and Eclipse tools.

With IBM's extensive experience in data management, "this just seems like a natural fit to provide technology and capabilities to our customers to now deal with more of the unstructured data that has become very pervasive in industries such as telco, healthcare and finance," Anjul Bhambhri, IBM vice president of Big Data & Streams, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "The technologies that have come into existence both within IBM and outside IBM, require different skills in terms of how to manage the data and how to write applications that make use of this data, along with the structured data."

From IBM's standpoint, says Bhambhri, it is not enough to just say here are the technologies that can be used, but it is important to go even further and educate the customers, the partners, or college students in terms of what the challenges are and how analytics can be run on the data to get more insight and that is what is being done. Under the new initiative, IT professionals and students get hands-on training to learn how to use InfoSphere, DB2, Informix, Optim, and Guardium software to manage and integrate data flowing across and into their organization, as well as big data management and analysis skills including data federation, integration, and warehousing techniques using InfoSphere BigInsights, Streams, Warehouse and Information Server software.

For more information on IBM's Big Data initiative, go here.

For more information on IBM's bootcamps, go to here.

For more information on the DB2 Academic Certification program, go here.