Reviews and events

Mapping Talent at Big Data Spain

At the recent Big Data Spain, we used an engaging approach in the form of a giant fingerprint that captured main skills in Data Science

We are strong believers that in the analytics business, more than any other business, the value of the company is dependent on the talent of the employees. At BBVA Data & Analytics that is our competitive advantage. We are a team of people passionate about the latest technology, open source and innovative problem solving. We mix data scientists that love mathematics and algorithms, designers who communicate the world with insightful visualizations, and of course business people who thrive by bringing solutions to the hand of customers.

When we attend leading events we expect the meet and exchange with similar profiles. But since we have analytical and visual minds we always want to discover more about the definition of talent in the analytics business. At the recent Big Data Spain (BDS16), we used an engaging approach in the form of a giant fingerprint that captured the skills in data science from a small sample of the more than 1200 attendees.


With a radial display of the information, participants could fill out multiple options for different questions, all together recreating the visual image of a fingerprint. Questions covered the typical technical skills or tools of a data scientist (e.g. Which programming language do you use? What is your favorite IDE?) to more curious and fun inquiries an the approach of work and their practice (e.g. Are you more “Machine Learning” or “Statistics”? Are you always on time or sometimes late?).

We brought an empty fingerprint to the event and the attention and willingness to participate surpassed our expectations.


With a sample of 87 attendees, here are some insights and anecdotes the fingerprint revealed:

  • Attendees define themselves mainly as practical and creative
  • 15% of them hold a PhD and just an 8% define themselves as self-taught
  • Their approach to life is more “Machine-Learning” than “Statistics”
  • Python is the most loved language, followed by R
  • When it comes to communicate, people prefer Tableau, and only a 16% use d3js
  • … and, the majority are on time to meetings

Thanks to the contributors to the fingerprint and to the organizers of Big Data Spain to make a great event since 2012. It proved great place to meet with the community, exchange ideas with talented people and showcase our most recent work in using data: for social good, for urban analytics, for retail businesses or for customer advisory. See you next year!