BBVA Innova Challenge Wants Your Big Data Insights

Mark Boyd
Nov. 12 2013, 11:00AM EST

There is still time for developers to enter the BBVA Innova Big Data Challenge and be in the running for some of the €90,000 ($USD 120,000) prize money. Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez, Head of Open Innovation at the Spanish bank BBVA, spoke with ProgrammableWeb about what the competition entails and how international entries can be submitted before the 3 December deadline.

The BBVA Innova Big Data Challenge makes big, non-identifiable financial transaction datasets available via an API to competitors, who are encouraged to draw on complementary data and other API products to create a consumer-facing, business, or public sector app, or to outline a web tool or data visualization that provides unique and creative insights into the data.

International competitors are encouraged to attend. "People from 27 different countries including Argentina, the USA and India are participating now. We also decided to included two workshops in English," Gallego Vázquez said. (The second workshop is being held tomorrow, Wednesday 13 November in Barcelona, and will be accessible via broadcast streaming on the competition website.)

"The Innova challenge has an English version of the website with the same information as the Spanish version, where international competitors can submit their entries," Gallego Vázquez said.

The competition is already seeing a regular increase in competition entries, with participation jumping after BBVA's Open Innovation Team hosted a workshop in early November as part of the Big Data Spain event. So far, the challenge has hosted seven workshops. "All workshops had a great audience in Madrid and Barcelona with an average of more than 200 attendants composed by data scientist, developers and engineers that were really collaborative," Gallego Vázquez said.

International entrants can still register to participate. Competitors are encouraged to make use of a variety of big data sources and are given free reign to use any tools they like, as long as they are compatible with the BBVA's RESTful API. Gallego Vázquez said:

"Our objective is to receive creative ideas from unexpected sources, giving a new point of view. But there are some basic open data sources that are easier to combine with our dataset. In our workshops, we recommend using external sources as the INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística) and SEPE (Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal). Others include Google's points of interest, and weather forecasts like the NOAA National Oceanic and Admospheric Administration. Twitter may be another option as an external source.

"The challenge has no technology requirements. Competitors can use any platform and programming language they want, but they should be compatible with our REST API. To get access to the API, we host a developer portal that allows users to get the API keys, read the documentation, and start testing in our console."

The BBVA Innova Big Data Challenge will accept entries until 3 December.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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