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Page 17Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences Volume 18, Number 2, 2015BIG DATA ANALYTICS THE NEXT BIG LEARNING OPPORTUNITY Regina Henry, Tennessee State University Santosh Venkatraman, Tennessee State UniversityABSTRACT The relentless collection of data from user interactions in websites have introduced both a high level of complexity, as well as a great opportunity for businesses. In addition, the trend of connecting not just people, but also machines to the Internet, and then collecting data from these machines via sensors would soon result in an unimaginable repository of data. This ever increasing collection of data, also known as Big Data, will only be useful if it can be analyzed to give useful insights into business problems, and perhaps even to make suggestions as to when and where future problems will occur (predictive analytics) so that the problems can be avoided or at least mitigated.Students must be prepared take advantage for future opportunities in the field of big data analytics. In most business programs, specifically information system as the major, core course like database design, office applications, and basic programming are taught to learners. A critical component missing from many undergraduate business programs are core courses focusing on data analytics. The US Department of Labor predicts 4.4 million opportunities will exist by 2018, working with data analytics. The imperative to include such courses in business information systems programs exist. Universities are beginning to notice the great interest in data analysis by organizations, which want data driven solutions to their problems. A few major business schools such as Arizona State University, University of Southern California, and Michigan State University have recently embarked on specialized Business-Analytics graduate Programs, while others such as Northwestern University has no such specialized Programs, but requires all business students to take them. In any case, many employers such as Taco Bell (Yum Brands), General Electric (GE), Boeing, and Walt Disney (Gellman, 2014) are asking for more employees with analytics skills to gain insights from the enormous volumes of data that they collect. The purpose of this article is to examine the rapidly growing field of Big Data Analytics and to study why and how big data analytics needs to be integrated into business skill sets and curriculum designs. The research will provide a practical framework to design and teach the skills sets needed to solve organizational problems by analyzing the vast amounts of data that are being generated and stored. This paper will be prove very beneficial to IT educators and academic researchers, as they will gain a solid understanding of why Big Data needs to be an important curriculum component, and the benefits to students and potential employers. Business managers will also benefit from the research as it shows them how new Big Data tools can be deployed to solve