CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The world’s largest brewer is setting up a data analytics shop at the University of Illinois.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, a Belgium-based brewer that sells Budweiser, Stella Artois and other beers, is opening a data analytics center called “Bud Lab” at the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign.

In a statement, the company said the central Illinois facility will work to study “assortment optimization” along with social media and market trends and other “large-scale data initiatives.”

Lab director Rafael Pinterich tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that that the facility is the brewer’s first permanent presence on a college campus.

“We are already in the recruiting process for the fall semester, and we’ll also be present at the engineering and business career fairs to speak with students about future opportunities,” he said.

So far, the facility has several interns most of whom have backgrounds in statistics and industrial engineering. But Pinterich hopes to recruit more student workers this semester who are studying math, business and computer science.

Illinois was ranked as the nation’s No. 3 party school in the most recent nationwide survey by The Princeton Review. But officials say that had nothing to do with the decision.

Instead, Pinterich said the company was impressed by the environment, student work in competitions as well as the school’s UI Research Park.

“It seemed the perfect home for our data analytics research center,” he said.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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