Computerworld honors Kennesaw State University for big data initiatives

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University ranked with Google and Cisco for innovation and real-world use of expanding technology…

Georgia (Sep 5, 2014)University ranked with Google and Cisco for innovation and real-world use of expanding technology

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KENNESAW, Ga.  (Sept. 8, 2014) — Kennesaw State University was one of only two universities ranked by Computerworld in its annual Data+ Editors’ Choice Awards, which recognize organizations for big data initiatives that have delivered significant business value.

Kennesaw State was among 20 organizations such as Google, Intel, Cisco, ThomsonReuters and Merck & Co., to earn the 2014 award. Only two universities were named to the list: Kennesaw State and Emory University, both Georgia higher education institutions.

“It is an honor for Kennesaw State to be recognized for our approach to big data analytics,” said Mark Anderson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “Our program blends statistics with mathematics and computer science, and makes us a leader in big data education. This award is a manifestation of the success of our strong interdisciplinary academic partnerships.”

Computerworld’s Data+ Editors’ Choice honorees were selected not only for their innovative use of analytics to achieve business benefits through big data, but also for their ability to demonstrate real-world results and help establish best practices for other IT practitioners in a rapidly expanding technology area. The awards program was launched in 2013 to recognize organizations that are mining big data to analyze and predict business trends and monetize this information.

According to Jennifer Lewis Priestley, professor of statistics and data science at Kennesaw State, the university was honored for its Master of Science in Applied Statistics program, which uses real-world data in the classroom in partnership with the SAS Institute, the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market.

“Our students deal with real data, not just theoretical concepts,” Priestley said. “We challenge our students to translate big data into information to support the decision-making process in organizations. It can be challenging to study statistics         at Kennesaw State because our students are required to understand data from every angle, including required proficiency in mathematics, statistics, programming and computer science, as well as areas of application such as finance, economics and healthcare.”

Students in Kennesaw State’s Master of Science in Applied Statistics program tout a 100 percent job placement rate upon graduation, with many students landing multiple job offers, according to Priestley.

“This year’s honorees have clearly demonstrated how their innovative strategies use data and analytics to make better business decisions, streamline processes and, in some cases, generate new revenue by tapping into new markets or creating ancillary data-based services,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld.

Kennesaw State’s Priestley has been invited to speak at the Data+ conference in Phoenix, Ariz., on Sept. 7-9, regarding the university’s unique approach to data analytics education and how it addresses the issues, challenges and opportunities for the next generation of analytical talent.

For a full list of the Data+ honorees, visit

For more information about Kennesaw State’s statistics program, please visit


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit