06:01 AM

TransUnion and University of Illinois at Chicago Announce Endowed Professorship of Data Science

Partnership Helps to Address Explosive Demand for Talent

As Chicago continues its growth in the information and technology sectors, two local powerhouses are joining forces to help address the mounting need for data science expertise.

TransUnion (NYSE: TRU), a leading global information solutions provider headquartered in Chicago, announced today a partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the creation of the TransUnion Professor of Data Science. The endowment is designed to further advocate for the study of data science and the potential careers and advancements it brings.

Data science includes the collection, analysis and interpretation of information to develop smarter, more efficient consumer benefits. The field impacts virtually every industry, including healthcare, finance, real estate, automotive, agriculture, transportation, professional services, sports and more.

“We believe that the need to leverage both precise and broad data, generating usable insights, is still in its infancy,” said Jim Peck, president and CEO of TransUnion. “While the idea of data science may not be new, the results of harnessing information are limitless. This is the future. Not only of business and job growth, but of how we live our lives every day. We’re looking forward to fostering a program with UIC, and bringing more students into this course of study—ultimately leading to greater innovation and technology breakthroughs that we can only imagine today.”

Massive Talent Gap, Massive Opportunity

Large gaps exist between the industry need for these increasingly complex occupations and the talent available. McKinsey projects a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 "deep analytic talent positions" plus a deficiency of 1.5 million analysts and analytics managers in 2018 in the US alone[1]. The Bureau of Labor statistics anticipates a 33 percent rise in the industry — much faster than other occupations[2]. LinkedIn’s 2017 Emerging Jobs Report[3] lists it as the second-fastest growing industry, having grown by a factor of 6.5 between 2012 and 2017.

Chicago Market in Prime Position

Chicago is widely considered an emerging data science talent hub, in no small part to the opportunities afforded by local companies. Since 2012, Chicago has added more than 15,000 technology jobs and many growing technology companies are either moving to the area or reinvesting in their presence here[4].

TransUnion operates at the forefront of the data science field; the Chicago-based firm has developed numerous innovative solutions to not only help business customers, but also abides by their commitment to Information for GoodSM, helping millions of consumers either gain access to more affordable loans or to prevent identity theft and other online fraud.

Powerhouse Partnership

The decision to partner with UIC's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences stemmed from this commitment, as it presented the opportunity to reach an incredibly diverse population and expand new career opportunities in Chicago. As Chicago’s largest university and only public research institution, UIC boasts a highly-varied student population (with no racial/ethnic majority) and is ranked among the top 10 most diverse universities in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report[5].

Moreover, UIC is a research powerhouse, as one of only four institutions in Illinois (and only 115 in the country) to be designated R1, the highest category for research activity assigned by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university was ranked among the top 25 best public universities in the country, according to a 2018 Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranking.

"We are truly grateful to TransUnion for their generous support and partnership," said Astrida Orle Tantillo, dean of UIC's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The TransUnion Professor will bring a wealth of expertise to our Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science program, and support our goal of graduating well-rounded data science students who have the critical thinking, problem-solving and communications skills necessary to fill important industry gaps and meet future workforce demands."

More About Endowed Professorship of Data Science

The TransUnion professor will be recruited through a national search and will work to enhance existing UIC strengths and invigorate research, teaching and consulting in data science. The professor will be appointed as a senior faculty member in the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science department and will join a large group of researchers from across the campus who are engaged in data science research and applications. The partnership will build UIC’s capacity to continually develop innovative undergraduate and graduate curriculum, professional education opportunities and interdisciplinary research groups.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

We call this Information for GoodSM.

About the University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a major research university located in the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities. As Chicago’s only public research university, UIC is an integral part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of Chicago. UIC is recognized as one of the most ethnically rich and culturally diverse universities in America. With the nation’s largest college of medicine, and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, social work, and applied health sciences, UIC is the state’s principal educator of health professionals. With 15 academic colleges in all, UIC's 30,500 students are able to study fields ranging from business and engineering to education, liberal arts and sciences, urban planning, and social work, as well as architecture, design and the arts.