The Government has announced details of an initial €1m investment in a research programme in Data Analytics, or "Big Data".

Big Data, a key target sector in the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, is growing at 40% a year worldwide and is offering major opportunities to Ireland due to already established advantages in this areas.

Big Data is the term given to describe the collection and analysis of huge amounts of information and involves pictures, video, text and any other data that are being generated in myriad ways by the way in which we go about our daily tasks.

Figuring out ways to properly interpret that information can help organisations provide more efficient services and better products.

An Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland initiative, the initial research phase of the Technology Centre in Data Analytics, the Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research, will aim to make Ireland a world leader in the area.

This centre will conduct initial research into "technology challenges" that have been identified by industry representatives.

Led by UCD, the research consortium includes UCC and Dublin Institute of Technology.

Industry partners include eBay, Accenture, Dell, HP, Moving Media, Fidelity Investments and Qumas.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said that a key part of the Government's plan for jobs is identifying areas where it believes Ireland has distinct advantages compared to other countries, and taking steps necessary to ensure that we realise the country's potential for employment in these areas.

"Data Analytics is one such sector, and the Government believes that between our climate, skills base and existing strength in ICT, we have the potential to reap substantial benefits in terms of jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector," Minster Richard Bruton said.

EMC, UCC and IMI deliver new Big Data education courses

Meanwhile, EMC Corporation has announced a new executive education programme, which aims to to help business leaders in Ireland use the ever growing amount of data to enable enterprise growth and the creation of new jobs.

The new programme has been developed with UCC, the Irish Management Institute and SAS.

The new Masters in Data Business and Diploma in Data Business covers the increasing role that the combination of technology, data, services, economics, innovation, business models, analytics and strategic data management play in the success of an organisation.

EMC research has shown that the number of computer servers will grow ten times by 2020, while information managed by enterprise data centres will grow 14 times.

But the number of IT professionals will grow by a factor of less than 1.5, which will create technology gaps.

The company said the new courses will help close this gap by educating business and IT leaders on the different ways to leverage "Big Data" and advanced analytics to generate new insights that can drive growth.