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Data> Big Data 25 Apr 2018

The promising future of big data and data science in Latin America

Big data and data science have become disciplines increasingly in demand in the labor market, serving as tools of great value in training the youngest professionals. With the technological future for the region looking promising, students in Latin America are increasingly engaged in training in these areas and finding out how to apply them to real life.

The data scientist master’s degree offered by the AFI School of Finance, which is sponsored by BBVA and the Carolina Foundation, provides comprehensive and innovative training aimed at a broad sector still in its development phase in Latin America. The experience of three students currently taking this course of study with a full grant from BBVA and the Carolina Foundation bears witness to this. Melissa Caraballo from Uruguay, Gerardo Alcalá from Mexico and Matías Caputti from Argentina are the three students who have been given this training opportunity offered by this degree in the world of data science.

All three remark on the notable attractiveness of the master’s for both engineers as well as mathematicians due to the wealth of skills it covers, including mathematical, software, technological and specialist abilities in different types of business. “That is what makes for a good data scientist: to be good at analysis, software and business. This master’s adds to the skill set of everyone”, says Gerardo Alcalá.

The future of the world and of Latin America is marked by technology and the different ways of applying it to all areas of real life"

Also of note is the very positive interaction among students with different academic profiles born out of a common spirit of companionship and the desire to learn. “I come from computing and I got into the world of mathematics and analysis which is way outside my area. It has been interesting helping each other”, says Matías Caputti.

The future of the world and of Latin America is marked by technology and the different ways of applying it to all areas of real life. As such,  big data and data science bring important developments and challenges for different business models. This master’s grants these three students the opportunity for growth and development that the material covered will offer in their respective countries. In Melissa’s opinion, the potential of the sector has yet to be fully tapped and the opportunities it presents are, therefore, enormous: “Personally, I come from Uruguay where the field of data science is very new and I would love to take it away with me, harness it and convey it so that it can be used because the potential is enormous”. Gerardo sees the world moving toward open data. “Sharing everything is key for collaboration among everyone engaged in the best practices across the world”.

UniversityHack 2018 Datathon

The training provided by the master’s served for them to take part in the biggest data science competition in Spain, the UniversityHack 2018 Datathon, in which in its third edition students from the best training centers in this field in the country matched their wits. The competition consisted of the different teams being given the challenge of coming up with a study that could enhance the experience of the user who wants to start up a business in the Spanish city of Murcia.

The three students who made up the AFI School of Finance reached the final of the competition with a project based on setting up a website with information about Murcia for entrepreneurs who want to open a business there. A real experience, according to Melissa: "The challenge was very open; we had to take on a project in a short time that included many things in line with the training we were given. The project brought a deal of value to our training".

"It’s a question of getting the most out of it; to try to get a grasp of the business, to understand how it works and to be able to enhance it. It taught us how to extract value. Thanks to all of this, you have tools that are going to be very useful in the future", concludes Melissa.