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Big Data 19 Jan 2017

Using big data for the common good

The UN held its first World Data Forum in Cape Town to explore how data analysis and statistics can be used to help attain the Sustainable Development Goals. BBVA Data & Analytics participated in the forum, where it presented several data initiatives for the common good.

Big data is not just a powerful tool for companies. Information resulting from the analysis of digital data and open-source databases provides a new way to understand and address a wide range of social, environmental, and urban problems, and natural disasters.

The UN convened more than 1,000 experts from across the globe in Cape Town. The experts are convinced that data can be crucial to help achieve the goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to create a more just and sustainable world.

BBVA participated in the forum, considered the “Davos of data”, to explain the project it developed in collaboration with UN Global Pulse. By analyzing the economic impact of Hurricane Odile in Mexico, they were able to demonstrate that financial transaction data is a reliable source to study populations’ resilience to natural disasters.

juan murillo world data forum bbva

Juan Murillo, head of Urban Data Services and Applications at BBVA Data & Analytics

“Many human activities related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals involve transactions that should be processed (like access to clean energy and sustainable consumption). We would like to share this knowledge with the stakeholders who can transform this data into action to increase prosperity or recover more quickly after a negative incident – or to help meet the new UN goals,” says Juan Murillo, Project Leader of Urban Data Services & Applications for BBVA Data & Analytics, who attended the event.

Murillo feels that BBVA’s contribution can help everyone – governments, NGOs and corporations alike – to make evidence-based decisions and ensure that the knowledge produced from big data reaches all of society. BBVA Data & Analytics is the BBVA Group’s center of excellence for financial data analysis. Its mission is to use big data to develop new products and solutions, while expanding this knowledge throughout the organization in order to make it more efficient across all areas and to better adapt to customers’ demands.

BBVA Data & Analytics collaborates with other institutions to explore the full value of the financial data BBVA manages, but always under the strictest security and privacy measures.

Cover image | IISD

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