KPMG & Imperial College embark on big data science push

Big data

KPMG is investing 20 million in boosting the number of data scientists the UK has at its disposal, as part of a joint project it's undertaken with Imperial College London.

The professional services firm said the aim of the partnership is to establish the UK as a leader in the data science space through the creation of the KPMG Centre for Advanced Business Analytics.

The centre will be run by researchers from the Imperial College Business School and will aim to develop new big data analytics methods and approaches that can be adopted by businesses to benefit the wider economy.

The two organisations plan to work on the project together for eight years, and hope the staff at the centre will complete between 15-to-20 big data initiatives a year.

Overall, the college wants to train up 800 PhD students through the scheme to become big data scientists.

Simon Collins, chairman of KPMG UK, said one of the centre's core aims is to ensure the UK PLC is primed and ready to make use of the growing amounts of data it produces.

"Our collaboration with Imperial is about developing the people and skills to use that data to drive new industries and new services. It is immensely exciting for the UK economy and we are very proud to be leading in this crucial area," said Collins.

Professor G Anand' Anandalingam, Dean of the Imperial College Business School, said a thorough understanding of the data analytics is essential for businesses to develop and innovate in today's economy.

"Processing huge swathes of data is a major challenge for leading businesses. Today's datasets are so big and complex to process that they require new ideas, tools and infrastructures," he said.

"The KPMG Centre for Advanced Business Analytics aims to address these challenges by looking at how we can translate complicated information and turn it into potential solutions.

"Doing this successfully could help businesses solve a range of issues and develop more commercial ideas," he concluded.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.