It's killing me that I'm sitting right near this classic old golf course at The Biltmore here in Miami and I'm not going to have the opportunity to take in a round while I'm here.
My game has much improved over the course of the summer. It was just over a year ago I went to golf school and actually learned how to really swing a golf club, and it made all the difference in the world.
When I started the three-day golf school in August 2012, my handicap was
hovering around 14.
Only last week, I received an updated GHIN notification and discovered my handicap index had dropped down to 8.6.
To put that in more matter of fact terms, before golf school, I was shooting in the high 80s and low 90s.
A year later, it's more like the high 70s and low 80s.
I gotta tell ya, it's a whole different game when you can step up to the golf ball and feel pretty confident it's going to go in the direction you want it.
And to be fair, the promise that was made in advance of golf school was that if I did everything they said, my handicap would improve by at least 25 percent... I'd say I'm well beyond the 25 percent and heading towards 50 percent!
There's some universal lessons in that experience, the least being that a little investment in education can go a long way.
That's especially the case in emerging technologies, including topical ones like big-data.
Big-data has become the IT industry's adoring wunderkind, and companies everywhere are looking to tap into the vast, largely untapped realm of insights hidden within their trove of business data.
They don't know what they just don't know.
Yet, a skills shortage is threatening to limit big-data's growth, as many organizations simply don't have the skills required to manage, analyze, and understand the motherlodes of data in their IT systems.
IBM is trying to help... not by sending me to golf school, but the virtual equivalent, certainly. The company has partnered with more than 1,000 universities worldwide to partner on bolstering a skilled workforce armed with big-data and analytics degrees and expertise.
An estimated 4.4 million big-data jobs will be created globally by 2015, but only one third are projected to be filled due to a skills shortage!
So, IBM and top universities across the globe are collaborating to narrow the worldwide big-data skills gap, enabling companies to fill jobs that require expertise in storing, managing, and mining data.
Universities should develop curricula that reflect the mix of technical and problem-solving skills needed to prepare students for big-data and analytics careers across all industries.
IBM is helping schools conduct these programs via access to big-data and analytics software, curriculum materials, real-world case study projects, expert guest lecturers, and faculty grants to fuel new course work.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to work on my swing. In the meantime, you can visit here to learn more about IBM's point of view on big-data.