One Alaska investment firm is teaming up with the state's future workforce to gather and analyze new types of data.

McKinley Capital Management is partnering with the University of Alaska's Lab for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, focusing on using AI and data science to access and interpret emerging types of data that MCM's CEO Rob Gillam says is the future.

"More and more there's new sources of data, unstructured data, social media, web search data, geolocation data, even satellite imagery, that helps companies like McKinley Capital predict where the growth of earnings are going to be."

Obtaining and interpreting the data is called data science.

"It's really big data, it's unstructured, it's messy. So the acquisition of data, cleansing data, parsing data, and then trying to find patterns with it is the science of data, or data science."

The partnership doesn't just benefit MCM. University of Alaska Anchorage students get the opportunity to develop skills and work with MCM's data scientists.

"We're going to take our students from the college of business and the college of engineering, especially those in capstone courses, and partner them up," said Kenrick Mock, UAA's interim dean of engineering.

Mock added that this is a great opportunity for his students to experience a career in finance, something they may not have thought about before.

KTVA's John Thompson contributed to this report.

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