[caption id="attachment_6198" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Columbus, Ohio.[/caption] IBM plans on building a new analytics center in Columbus, Ohio. The facility, which will offer services and skills training in addition to research into analytics and Big Data, should create 500 local jobs in the analytics field. “Data is a powerful natural resource that if used wisely can drive U.S. economic competitiveness and lead to rewarding careers in the future dedicated to building a smarter planet,” Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Software Solutions Group. “This center will have a tremendous amount to offer: world-class educational institutions, a highly-educated workforce, industry-leading businesses and—perhaps most important of all—will serve as the foundation of a community of innovators that will transform industries around the world.” IBM plans on adding “as many as” 500 analytics consultants and “research and development professionals” to the facility over three years, according to the company. Research will focus on potential new markets such as commercialization of IBM’s Watson platform. IBM will also pair with Ohio State to integrate analytics training into the latter’s graduate and undergraduate programs. Other partners include JobsOhio, Columbus 2020, ICC, and unnamed businesses in the Columbus area. In addition to buttressing the analytics skills of students and others in the surrounding area, the center will also research new ways to process Big Data “that address important societal challenge,” and offer a testing environment for any clients bringing analytics and cognitive-computing platforms online. IBM plans on connecting the Ohio center to 200 other client centers around the world, as well as its eight Analytics Solution Centers. IBM isn’t the only IT vendor sponsoring a research center for analytics and Big Data. Over the summer, for example, Intel announced plans to build a new Intel Science and Technology Center (ISTC) for Big Data at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), with plans to research ways to analyze massive data sets. Nonprofits are also getting into that game: in October, hack/reduce announced its intention to recruit Big Data “resident hackers” and others to the Boston area. “Hack/Reduce will develop the necessary talent to create companies and jobs to shape the future in the Big Data driven economy,” former Vertica CEO Chris Lynch, who assisted in hack/reduce’s founding, told BostInno in an interview. “After successfully establishing Hack/Reduce in Boston, we will take this concept across the nation and eventually the globe.”   Image: traxlergirl/Shutterstock.com