Alation Inc., the leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, today announced a new philanthropic initiative, The Data Intelligence Project. As part of this initiative Alation provides its platform, free of charge, to academic institutions to nurture the next generation of data enthusiasts. Using Alation, undergraduate and graduate students complete their coursework and conduct data-based research, such as analyzing different datasets regarding aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first participant in the project, which launched in Summer 2020, was the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
Through the project, the UWM School of Information Studies utilized Alation’s catalog and collaborative query tool in information and data-centric courses, including Introduction to Databases, Organizational Informatics, and Big Data and Society. The classes introduced classic concepts and methodology from information science as applied to data, data cataloging, and data usage. More than 250 students have used Alation in their coursework thus far. Classes for 2021 are currently underway, and more courses are available in Fall 2021.
“The Data Intelligence Project has enabled hundreds of students to learn and conduct data-based research, and experience the benefits of integrating shared data in their assignments,” said Dr. Maria Haigh, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “In these courses, students found Alation’s collaborative features and the hands-on introduction to metadata in a shared data warehouse extremely valuable. Alation has helped them nurture data research, collaboration and analytical skills; such skills are not only critical to solving big data problems, they are uniquely supported by Alation’s technology.”
“We are delighted that Alation has helped so many students attain 21st-century data skills at UWM. Since inception, Alation’s mission has been to empower a curious and rational world, and so we have a natural affinity with colleges and universities,” said Aaron Kalb, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Alation. “It’s been a pleasure to partner with Professor Haigh and Deb Seys, Alation’s program lead on this initiative. After this success with UWM, we’re so excited to extend The Data Intelligence Project to more institutions around the globe.”
Alation had been planning a University program for some time when UWM alumna and UWM iSchool advisory council member Susannah Barnes connected her alma mater to the software company. Barnes uses Alation as a senior data governance specialist at American Family Insurance.
“Providing students with opportunities to work with advanced technologies is critical to their development and their careers. It is both educational and inspiring,” said Barnes.
Alation continues to invest in tomorrow’s data leaders by expanding the program to additional universities. In 2022, Alation will select up to five academic institutions to provide its data intelligence software. Universities interested in using Alation are invited to apply for The Data Intelligence Project.