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Watson Analytics Academic Program 2016: Year in review

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Watson Analytics Academic Program 2016: Year in review


The Watson Analytics Academic Program provides no-cost use of IBM Watson Analytics software for classroom teaching and research. Students can explore data sets, get automated predictive insights, and create dashboards. They can also analyze social data from Twitter to achieve a more complete view of their data.

Watson Analyics Academic Program ClassroomThe Watson Analytics Academic Program offers a Faculty edition for those educators who want to have the same capabilities offered in the Student edition but with the ability to add students to form a workgroup for collaboration and sharing. We also offer Campus Access, which can help educational institutions provide a valuable tool to all of students for no cost regardless of their class selection.

This program had a banner year in 2016 and if you follow this blog, you might have had a glimpse of this success in some of the stories we published. However, I’d now like to share more of the Watson Analytics Academic Program’s biggest successes for 2016.

1 million academic registrations

In 2016, 1 million users registered for the Watson Analytics Academic Program. Our users came from 585 schools, 755 were instructors, and 25 were campus tenants. We issued more than 900 Watson Analytics badges and global faculty adoption rate was up 10 percent over 2015. Most notable is how global our Academic Program users are: they come from 52 countries with a particularly strong presence in Canada, Germany, Australia, Spain and the US.

New! Academic Advisory Board

The Academic Advisory Board for the Academic Program is composed of faculty, students and academic administrators who provide ongoing feedback to the Watson Analytics product development team. The goal is to use their thoughts, opinions and experiences to improve the relevance of Watson Analytics in higher education and to either improve or add new features or functionality. Also, we offer them a place to share best demonstrated practices and learning resources for Watson Analytics, including a LinkedIn group with 400 members.

Engaging activities

Engaging our student and faculty users is the cornerstone of the Watson Analytics Academic Program. We do this with competitions, presence in the IBM P-Tech School and corporate citizenship in the form of grants.

In 2016, we sponsored a worldwide Watson Analytics competition. 125 teams from 32 universities across 6 countries participated, with a final competition that was held at World of Watson. The top 3 teams, from Canada, Slovenia, and Australia, competed for the big prize. The great news? This competition inspired others and now we have double the number of teams registered for the 2017 competition.

Watson Analytics Academic Program Winners

In addition to the worldwide event, we hosted three university competitions:

  • Queens University Innovation Challenge. Eight companies brought business challenges and students had weeks to use Watson Analytics and other analytics tools to put together a proposal for how to solve the problems.
  • University of New Hampshire Competition: This joint hackathon with Datawatch, an IBM Business Partner, was a 20-hour competition where students had to use Watson Analytics and Datawatch Monarch for IBM Analytics to solve a problem.
  • University of Texas System Hackathon. This one-day competition (pictured here) featured a morning workshop where teams from each of the UT campuses learned Watson Analytics and then had 4 hours to deliver insights they derived from a dataset about the airline industry.

Watson Analytics Academc Prgram

It’s not all competitions, though. Twenty-one 10th graders from the IBM P-Tech School were offered a summer course and students successfully earned a Big Data University (BDU) badge upon completion.

And finally, Watson Analytics grant requests from outside organizations were reviewed by IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and $60,000 in grants was awarded.

The Watson Analytics Academic Program is supported by great partnerships

It takes great partnerships to offer a first-class academic program. The Watson Analytics Academic Program is fortunate to have these partners, all of whom are committed to our success and the success of students:

  • American Marketing Association (AMA)
  • American Accounting Association (AAA)
  • American Nurse’s Association (ANA)
  • Teradata University Network (TUN)

Thanks to these partnerships we are able to support students and faculty all over the world as they explore the power of analytics. The TUN partnership has opened the door to 1700 institutions, 3600 faculty members and 25,000 students. In addition, thanks to TUN, LinkedIn and BDU, we are able to offer online learning courses and resources to 10,000 organizations and 1 million professionals.

2017 is going to be even bigger

Yes, 2016 was a year of strong growth and engagement for the Watson Analytics Academic Program. But we have much more in store for 2017. We’re proud of our program and even prouder of what students, faculty and academic institutions have accomplished with Watson Analytics. I look forward to sharing more good news with you throughout the year.

Interested in the Watson Analytics Academic Program?

For more details about the program, visit our webpage.

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Max Douglas Oct 27, 2017

As a Diving Project Manager I wish to use analytics and the Watson program for Offshore Project Planning.

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