Anteneh Ayanso, an associate professor of information systems at Goodman, championed the business school’s partnership with SAS Canada. A new partnership is giving Goodman School of Business researchers and students access to business analytics software, training and services from SAS Canada, an industry leader in the field of business intelligence and advanced analytics software.The strategic agreement is part of SAS’s global academic alliance program, which supports teaching, learning and research in business analytics by providing access to SAS software, training, workshops and curriculum support.So what are business analytics? Business analytics involve the application of visualization, descriptive, and predictive techniques on large data sets to help explore patterns, relationships, and trends related to a given business problem.It applies to all types of organizations, including government agencies, educational institutions, and the military.It is predicted by McKinsey & Company to be the “next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.”When you hear the words “big data”, think business analytics. Analyzing the complex data sets gleaned from social media, loyalty programs and online shopping is just one of the many reasons that the field keeps growing in importance.Enterprises are increasingly beginning to recognize the value of the vast volumes of data they collect, and the demand for people who can unlock that value is rising sharply.“As more and more employers look for trained data scientists who can effectively utilize data analytics technologies to help discover efficiencies and identify new trends, an increasing number of schools are responding to these needs with courses and degrees for the 21st century data-driven economy,” said Cameron Dow, VP Marketing SAS Canada and Latin America. “The Goodman School of Business is one such school that SAS is working with to ensure graduates have the analytical skill sets that will help Canadian businesses compete globally. As the leader in business analytics, SAS is committed to integrating technology and education so that graduates are equipped with working knowledge of the sophisticated tools they will be using as future analytics professionals.”At the graduate level, Goodman has an MBA specialization in business analytics and a specialization in operations and information systems management in the research based master of Science in Management.At the undergraduate level, students study such courses as database management and data mining in the information systems concentration of the BBA. Don Cyr, dean of the Goodman School of Business, sees the new partnership as an important link between students, researchers and industry.“When our students and researchers gain access to the analytical tools available in SAS, it enriches the overall learning experience at Goodman,” he says. “And it ensures that students are working with highly relevant software that gives them a competitive career advantage.”Anteneh Ayanso, an associate professor of information systems at Goodman, championed the partnership with SAS Canada. He believes that the integration of the software into courses brings tremendous value to the classroom training environment.“We now have access to industry relevant course contents, example data sets, and software applications,” Ayanso says. “The integration of these resources in our curriculum also means that students now have better opportunity to obtain curriculum-based as well as exam-based industry certifications in analytics.”Training in the SAS software has already been integrated into undergraduate and graduate courses. In February 2015, MBA students can enroll in the SAS boot camp to prepare them for SAS certification in base programming.