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Louisiana Tech to discuss 'big data' with Ark-La-Tex firms

Kate Archer Kent

Louisiana Tech University is set to host its first conference on business analytics next month at its Shreveport Center. The discussion will focus on how to harness "big data" – all that valuable information people generate day after day. 

The ability to take big data and turn it into useful information for businesses cuts across all sectors, according to Jim Cochran, a professor of quantitative methods. Cochran has assembled a variety of speakers on big data.

“We’ve got people talking about working with the IRS to mine business returns to try to detect fraud. We’ve got people talking about working with airlines to try to find useful information in the patterns of behavior people exhibit when they visit the airlines’ websites. We’ve got somebody talking about mining social media," Cochran said.

IBM has released its yearly predictions for the technological innovations that could change the way we live over the next five years, and this time its "5 in 5" is all about big data. Between online tracking, and phones and tablets taking the place of the trusty pen and paper, more data is being accumulated than ever, according to Tim Bisping, associate dean of graduate programs and research at Louisiana Tech’s College of Business.

“Things have really changed in the nature of data and its use, especially at the corporate level. There was a time when it was a bigger issue that people didn’t really have the data that they needed. Now the issue has become people have so much data they don’t know what to do with it," Bisping said.

Tech’s business analytics day in Shreveport is set for Jan. 10 and pre-registration is required. Louisiana Tech has assembled a business analytics committee that includes faculty from across the university who demonstrate interest in big data.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.