Sport and Big Data as catalysts for development

Elena Gil, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Moreno have gathered to discuss about Big Data and the uses in cycle sport.

Reading time: 2 min

Fernando Menéndez 

 Políticas Públicas, Telefónica.

“Telefónica is a digital transformation and Big Data company. We have taken the opportunity to analyse the data generated by the Movistar Team to improve its performance and better define its strategy” stated Elena Gil, Global Director of Big Data at Telefónica and CEO of LUCA, during a meeting with Nairo Quintana, cyclist from the Movistar Team, and Alberto Moreno, Director of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington.

Under the heading “Sport and Big Data as catalysts for development”, the three spokespeople met at the IDB’s headquarters to discuss the implications of technology, especially Big Data, in sport and how it is helping to enhance their work. “The data collected by LUCA on successes and failures helps us to improve as a team. Technology has helped us a lot but it has also lead to mistakes. The use of data is no substitute for common sense; they go hand-in-hand” says Nairo.

A cyclist generates some 3 million pieces of data during a ride, data such as heart rate, cycling cadence, force exerted on the pedals, GPS location, power, pace, efficiency, speed, altitude, performance and slope. All this data is collected in a Cloud environment by a device connected to a computer and the data is downloaded gathering key information to develop strategies.


Elena Gil, Nairo Quintana and Alberto Moreno during the conference


During the event, the cyclist from the Movistar Team highlighted the help Telefónica is giving to communities most in need thanks to technology and driving the region’s economic development. Elena pointed out that in Latin America there are extensive opportunities to use Big Data.

Alberto Moreno highlighted the strategic alliance between Telefónica and the IDB since 2012 to promote programmes and projects aimed at socio-economic development and digital transformation in Latin America and how this association has helped the digital revolution.

Aside from Big Data, Telefónica and the IDB are committed to increasing collaboration areas and projects related to other actions, such as: Smart Cities, digital economy, broadband access, entrepreneurship and inclusive development.

Telefónica is working on various “Big Data for the Common Good” initiatives to help to improve society and meet the sustainable development objectives set by the United Nations. One of them is the collaboration with Unicef for Magic Box, which is a platform showing real-time information on the combination and analysis of aggregated and anonymised data provided by private companies. Magic Box was tested for the first time in 2014 with the Ebola crisis in western Africa and, more recently, for the Zika virus.



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