UPDATED 09:57 EDT / NOVEMBER 16 2011

Jaspersoft’s New Scholar Program Bridges Analytics Skill-Gap

BI software maker Jaspersoft has a new initiative: the Jaspersoft Scholars Program,  which provides higher education institutions an opportunity to apply for a free license of the company’s commercial BI suite. In addition, training and other online resources are also provided to better educate students in their use of the software.

“Eighty percent of students specialize in BI because the demand for professionals in the workforce is so high.

“The students’ learning curve with Jaspersoft’s software is fast, and every semester students tell me they enjoy working with open source tools along side commercial ones, because when they enter the workforce, they see both in the field and have familiarity with both. It’s great to have these tools available to us at no charge,” explained  Dr. Sudha Ram, a participant in Japersoft’s program who served as a  business school professor of Management Information Systems at the Eller College of Management.

The business intelligence market is rapidly expanding as companies are pursing smarter routes to achieve customer satisfaction, as well as other goals. There’s an equal demand for new products and new talent that can work with these tools, and providers such as Jaspersoft are banking on this growth.

Another example of such a company is Tableau. The seventh version of its data visualization tool connects to Hadoop via Hive and lays out the data stored in the system for the business user. Tableau worked its magic through a partnership with Cloudera, which raised an impressive $40 million in venture capital this month in a fourth round of funding.

The BI trend is also weaving itself together with the cloud. Software giant SAP teamed-up with VCE, a venture-backed startup that offers an EMC, VMware and Cisco-powered cloud-in-a-box offering called Vblock. As a part of the partnership SAP’s BI apps have been certified to run on VCE’s solution.

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