Today, big data is one of the trends that offers greater possibilities in processing information. This set of processes, technologies and business models are finding new and revolutionary ways to capture the value found within the data. In this respect, leveraging the possibilities that Big Data has offers many advantages, as it can make it possible to, for example, accurately direct investment, identify gaps in the current offering in different sectors and benefit markets such as tourism, transport or culture.
BBVA is firmly committed to this trend. The bank’s confidence in big data is so high that the second edition of its Innova Challenge competition focuses on this phenomenon. Innova Challenge has become a pioneering initiative by BBVA aimed at promoting an open culture of continuous exchange between the bank and developer communities globally. The purpose of the competition has been to find, together with the developer community, new and innovative ways to harness the potential offered by processing bulk data.
This competition was a milestone because this is the first time that a bank has opened actual business data. The Innova Challenge API have included a dataset with dissociated irreversible data and with the sufficient level of aggregation so that individual people or businesses could not be distinguished. The data cover the cities of Madrid and Barcelona between November 2012 and April 2013. In total, the API offered by BBVA contains details of more than 30 million transactions for more than 2 million cards in more than 200,000 retailers.
Innova Challenge is split into 3 categories, each with three awards. In total, the contest carries total prize money of €90,000 (€15,000, €10,000 and €5,000 for each of the three categories). The winners are as follows:
– Consumer apps.
· 1st Prize: Qkly. This travel planner helps users avoid waiting in long lines in stores or for pay-services. The application uses BBVA API information to automatically predict overcrowding and identify optimal times to avoid long lines. The application provides information on businesses, attractions or places based on user preferences. Thus, Qkly forecasts times of day when crowds will be largest. Users can therefore plan their visits more effectively and make optimal use of their time.
· 2nd Prize: Mad4food. This web application recommends cafés, bars and restaurants in Madrid. The idea behind this app is to suggest to users the best places where similar people (by gender, age, etc.) usually spend time. Using BBVA’s API, Mad4food suggests a series of places specific to each user, based on a combination of information provided by people with a similar demographic profile, time patterns and other user-provided feedback. It can provide customized recommendations for any user, from a 20 year-old looking for somewhere to go on Saturday night, right through to businessmen seeking the ideal place for a business dinner.
· 3rd Prize: InnovaQuery is a virtual assistant. Based on technology that recognizes natural language, users can direct questions to the application through multiple channels (web application, cell phones and even via Twitter, by sending a tweet that includes @innovaquery, with a response time of under 1 minute). InnovaQuery is also designed to interact with wearable devices, such as Google Glass, in which the main interface is the user’s voice and language. Users can ask questions such as “what do men buy in the Gran Vía area of Madrid?” and will get a response. The questions are answered based on data provided by the BBVA API in the form of simple charts and heat maps.
– Apps for the corporate/public sector.
· 1st Prize: Chances. This application is aimed at future entrepreneurs, providing predictions on whether a business should be successful or needs improvement. The application takes into account aspects such as location, customer types, seasonality and busy periods, all provided by BBVA’s API.
· 2nd Prize: Urbeo. This application assesses the social and economic impact had on a city by functions, sporting competitions and shopping-related events. Urbeo offers a comprehensive solution that automatically assesses the social and economic impact had by any event. The data are real, thanks to use of BBVA’s API. The application also compares information from the API created for the Innova Challenge with Twitter comments, allowing it to locate areas that may have been influenced by a specific event. Furthermore, the application provides information on the economic impact of events, calculating the changes in spending in the area before and after the event.
· 3rd Prize: Shopping Center Benchmarking. This application allows companies to check just how effective their direct marketing strategies are and identify the source of their customers. It also allows users to view areas where they can improve marketing strategies or that they fail to cover efficiently. Thanks to data from the BBVA API, the application tells users the times of the day or week that record the most transactions, helping companies to bolster staff levels when required or plan merchandise and raw materials supplies. Shopping Center Benchmarking also provides information to help segment their public, which is particularly helpful when designing marketing campaigns for a specific target market.
– Web or Visualization:
· 1st Prize: BBVAPlaces. This analysis offers an understanding of aspects such as the correlation between the density of business premises in a particular area and the number of transactions performed, as well as the ratings that users have given via social networks (in this case Google Places). Thus, BBVAPlaces offers an overview of areas where establishments have the highest social ratings, helping to identify optimal areas for opening a business. By combining APIs from Google Places and BBVA, BBVAPlaces shows which areas have the highest user ratings, where the most money is spent and where new businesses have the most chances of success.
· 2nd Prize: Quartz. This visualization tool allows a single dataset to be viewed from a number of perspectives, helping to uncover correlations between different factors. With Quartz, users can freely explore the BBVA API with a range of data display options. This visualization provides users with precise and high-quality information.
· 3rd Prize: Visualization of purchases with BBVA cards. This application provides an interactive view for the Madrid region. The app offers an overall view for the region’s municipalities, as well as a representation of the data provided by the BBVA API. It shows aspects such as purchase locations, volume, origin and destination, as well as how these variables perform by gender and age in each of the studied regions.
This is just a small example of the enormous talent that was evident among entries to the competition, which was warmly welcomed by the developer community and experts in Big Data. More than 140 projects from 19 countries (including USA, India, Japan and Spain) were submitted to Innova Challenge, which is indicative of the innovation potential of big data processing. Here at BBVA we are extremely proud to have been able to learn and work with you through our training and workshops and to have been able to help turn your great ideas into real, exciting and innovative projects.