“Big data could be oil, but it is not petrol. It needs to be refined for it to be useful”. This is how Patricia Durán, Communications Manager at Planeta Chatbot who moderated the first insur_break event on 4th April, summed up the importance of organisations properly managing the data that they have available.

This series of events on various technological subjects is part of MAPFRE’s insur_space and completes the insurer’s commitment to open innovation and to fostering a community of experts and entrepreneurs. “We want to blend into the ecosystem, create opportunities and generate a web of personal relationships that serve to build new projects,” explained Josep Celaya, MAPFRE’s Global Head of Transformation and Managing Director of insur_space.

Among these technological trends, big data is a hot topic – it’s on everybody’s lips and the correct use of it is still a mystery for some companies. There are more and more heads of corporations who want to use data to make better decisions and create strategies, but you have to know which strings to pull.

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The first speaker, Elena Alfaro, Global Head of Data & Open Innovation at BBVA group, who is an expert in machine learning algorithms and is dedicated to open innovation and the transformation of the bank, spoke of the value of data. “Large companies base their business models on capturing data in order to deliver highly customised products for millions of people, at a very low cost”, summarised Alfaro.

In her opinion, there are three key elements to take into account to ensure that an organisation is making good use of big data: good data, “that are not always ordered and clean”; talent and, above all, good questions. “First, companies must ask themselves: what is the question that I want to answer with all this technology?”, said Alfaro.

The event continued with a keynote speech from Diego Bodas, Lead Data Scientist at MAPFRE Spain, who broke the ice by showing attendees music composed by artificial intelligence from patterns obtained, naturally, from data.

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Bodas highlighted the importance of using data correctly in an insurance company like MAPFRE, and stressed the need for each person to protect their information. “We lock our house doors, but our mobile phones, which are a way into our privacy, we leave open from time to time”, he noted. In addition, “the role of regulators is essential to ensure that companies apply common sense and values. For MAPFRE their customers’ trust is sacred”, the expert added.

After each presentation, attendees were able to raise their queries with the experts in lively question and answer sessions. Later on, everyone enjoyed a relaxed networking atmosphere, accompanied by craft beers and pizzas – conversations flowed and ties between the entrepreneurial community were reinforced.

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This was the first in a series of events focused on various technological topics that will be held on the last Thursday of every month at around 19:00. You can find out about them through the insur_space website, in the insur_break section, and from insur_space’s social media using the #insur_break hashtag. The events are free of charge and require registration in advance.

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