Piecing together connections between data takes more thought and intention than what might be perceived at first glance. And with big data available on topics that literally circumvent the world, making sense of all of this is an endeavor not to be lightly taken.
Denison's Data Analytics program was one of the first to be adapted by a liberal arts college. With a lot of intentional forethought, faculty put together a program that provides students with the underpinnings of data analytics, including a thorough understanding of the computer science and mathematics to assess and create data, and the ability to pose useful questions that will provide the most usable results.
Denison's program overlaps with a discipline chosen by the student, giving the student the tools to assess knowledge available in their fields and bring a deeper understanding to the problems and processes of their work.
Inside Higher Ed recently interviewed Denison professors about the new major. Jessen Havill, director of the program noted "The program has "really taken off more than we thought it would. About 50 freshmen and sophomores have declared data analytics as their major, he said, making it comparable to the size of the established computer science program and even more popular than the mathematics program."
The article goes on to note:
"Because data analytics is interdisciplinary and can be applied in most sectors (public, private, nonprofit), many programs encourage students to pursue a specialization. At Denison, some of the most popular disciplines are economics, political science, biology and psychology, Havill said.
"That interdisciplinary element allows students to understand the importance of the data they are working with and the significance of the results they find.
“'I hope a lot of programs take [that] into account,' Havill said, so 'that we’re not just pushing out ... applied mathematicians who don’t understand the importance of the context.'
"Havill said he thinks that's possible in a few years as data analytics programs are more common. There are groups, such as the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, working to create a streamlined, uniform approach to teaching data analytics across colleges, he added."
To read more of the Inside Higher Ed article, which includes information about other Data Analytics programs as well, visit: insidehighered.com