The UH Analytics Lab is a great resource for the students, and serves as a reference architecture for companies building an analytics competency. And it’s not expensive (unless you start spinning up clusters all the time – seldom needed).
We start with RStudio/RServer for data acquisition, structuring and description (and application of CRAN algorithms). We extend to Azure Machine Learning for application with MS Research algorithms. For data storage, we have SQL Server (database and analysis services) and Data Lake. Spark for heavy crunching. We also have Dynamics ERP (accounting and business topics are the focus here). Presentation tools include Excel, Tableau and Power BI. Overall, a good end-to-end experience for students and business community partners (student projects can serve as POCs – so benefits work both ways).