Analytics for Human Information: Brazil - Big Data and Big Opportunities

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Harvard Business Review Big Data event in Sao Paulo, one of the most prestigious events in Brazil’s technology calendar. Some of the largest Brazilian companies and government organizations were represented both on the stage and in the audience.

 

Just to provide the brief context on Brazil: it’s an emerging country of 199MM people, with a rising middle class and tech-savvy consumers. These factors contribute to making Brazilians the second largest population on sites like Facebook (65MM users) and Twitter (41MM). Brazil is also the fourth-largest mobile phone market in the world, with a penetration of smartphones that doubled from 9% to 18% between 2011 and 2012.

 

The Harvard conference was a good barometer of how this tech-friendly culture is reflected in the world of large corporations and government.

 

Two of the questions I had in mind while on my way to the event were:

 

1. Is there a divide between the curiosity and love for technology that Brazilians display as consumers and the way they behave in their corporate jobs?

2. Is Brazil lagging behind in the global conversations about Big Data?

 

The answer, to both questions, seems to be no.

 

Throughout the day, between panels, presentations and networking breaks, I developed the sense that the Brazilian business community is well-aligned with the global vision of Big Data and doesn’t see it as a future technological trend, but rather a current reality. As the hype on Big Data fizzes away, what’s left is a new way of looking at the competitive edge that technology can bring to an organization and the role that deep data insights can play in effective decision making.

 

The maturity of the conversations around Big Data in Brazil is illustrated by the key questions that people had during the event:

 

  • Lack of overview: Where does human intuition and experience fit in this brave new world of data insight?
  • Lack of talent: Can universities alone supply enough for the growing demand? Should we look elsewhere for such talent?
  • Lack of insight: Once technology makes data available, how do I look for the right insights?
  • Lack of throttle control: What is the best way to avoid inundating the CIO´s desk IT with many isolated (and sometime overlapping) Big Data projects and experiments?
  • Lack of a toolbox: Do Big Data solutions have to be a puzzle of many products and vendors interactions?

 

During my presentation I addressed some of these points -- particularly this last one. Recently, HP has launched a Big Data platform called HAVEn (see Chris Surdak’s post for more)  This platform handles 100% of the information available, regardless of it being structured, semi-structured or unstructured. On an even broader level, HP´s ability to offer devices, infrastructure, software and services uniquely positions the company to engage in the most critical items on the Big Data to do list!

 

As part of the showcase of real life example, we presented the recent work that NASCAR and HP have done together to create a fan and media engagement center (see David Humphrey’s post on this exciting event). What this example shows is how you can take advantage of the richness of all available data to make timely and critical marketing decisions and augment the ongoing global conversation between a brand and its fans and consumers. With Brazil hosting both the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, this case study captured the imagination of many Brazilian executives.

 

While writing this initial blog I have realized that there is a lot more to tell about the business  impact that technology is having in Brazil and I am looking forward to write more about it.

 

Stay tuned and obrigado for your attention.

 

I’ll leave you with a video video showcase of our work with NASCAR:

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About the Author
Federico Grosso has over 15 years of international technology management experience and technology evangelization. Federico currently serves...
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