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Video and highlights of our last event: Analytics in Retail


BCNanalytics co-founder, Manuel Bruscas, was in charge of presenting the topic of the day “Analytics and Big Data in Retail”. He explained that in the US alone the retail industry generates $966 billion a year, almost 6% of their GDP. Retail is currently facing several challenges, some of which are the product of technological progress. Through online marketplaces and company websites consumers can now consider a wide range of product sources (online and offline). This has directly led into deep changes within Retail, especially for companies with an offline presence, since they must quickly adapt to changing trends, for example the drop in footfall for physical stores. Technology has also empowered consumers to be more informed than ever, which means that competition will only increase. Therefore companies that wish to remain relevant must learn how to get the most out of their online and/or offline presence through an integrated data-driven strategy.

Jaume Portell (CEO of Beabloo)
Beabloo started in 2008 with the mission of creating new ways of communication between consumers and service providers (e.g. retail companies, government offices, theme parks, etc.). Jaume started his talk with a reflection of how in the early 2000s ecommerce, and the troves of data it was generating, started changing the landscape for physical retail. It was that realization that led Jaume and his colleagues to take action and found Beabloo.

Jaume Portell

He then took the topic back to present day, where after more than a decade of online growth we are seeing a shift back into offline. A perfect example of this is Amazon, which is now opening physical stores and signaling that this is a real trend, which is being fueled by the fact that still most of transactions are happening outside the web. To fully understand why offline continues to dominate the landscape, it is necessary to understand the customer. Data is the instrument through which we must connect both the online and offline worlds.

He made it a recurrent point that humans have a general need for physical stimulus. While we might not always need it, there will always be occasions in which we will want to see, feel, smell, taste and hear the products we want to buy before we purchase them. This is visible in the statistics of offline and online transactions. After twenty years of e-commerce evolution, still today 90% of transactions in the US and Europe happen offline. This is a gap that the web will hardly ever breach and therefore we need to adapt to it.

His proposed solution starts by recognizing that both worlds are not actually separated, rather they need to be highly integrated and coordinated to ensure that the most value is derived from them. These days technology is adding new capabilities to allow companies to better relate online and offline such as: using smartphones to understand how customers are navigating both worlds and creating campaigns to generate cross-environment awareness. The result of this integrated approach is an abundance of data, processes and metrics that can only be managed by the development of new platforms.

To show what he meant, he shared with us an example which covered the NBA stores in China. Beabloo was hired to solve two problems, the first was related to inventory and how to maximize their physical stores offer while minimizing expenses. The second problem was to develop a strategy of communication to customers visiting the stores. They proposed and implemented a solution that actually attacked both problems which was to develop a kiosk that allows customers to browse information of the store and develop customized products. Through the kiosk the stores offered and almost unlimited stock of products and by tying it to Beabloo’s platform they could have a cohesive communication at a customer level, which would translate into personal promotions, offers or information.


Víctor Martínez de Albeniz
(Professor of Production, Technology and Operations Management at IESE)
Víctor began by reminding us of how difficult the competitive landscape is for Retail. There is a huge level of complexity that companies need to manage that go across many of the departments of a company (communications, design, production, logistics, partner relationships, etc.). Another reality of Retail is the volatility of a product lifespan and the implications that has on planning and investment. If you don’t plan for enough you miss out, but if you over-forecast then you end with unused stock, also known as losses. Therefore, how can Retail companies manage this tough environment? His answer is: use data.

Victor Martinez de Albeniz

The good news (also, old news) for Retailers is that a lot of data is readily available through the cash register. This will already give them a very good amount of insight into what product is sold and in which quantities. Yet nowadays Retailers have additional data sources that can allow them to get data not just on what they sold, but also on what products caught their customers’ attention but ultimately did not sell. One method he suggested for getting this data is through the use of cameras to track how customers move through your stores. Also wifi can be used to map how customers are moving in a store and how they traverse your physical space. He developed on these methodologies by highlighting that while these systems are anonymous, they still allow for anonymous-CRM which can create powerful offers. For this to actually happen, all these multiple data sources need to be tied up with your internal data sources to create a cohesive customer data ecosystem. That is not an easy problem, but a huge opportunity for those that develop a way to do this with scale.

He then gave an example of an analysis his team is involved in, which is measuring the impact of weather on sales for street and mall stores. This analysis can go to different levels, but starts at overall sales and then moves into individual product groups. As it turns out weather has a measurable effect on how sales will go on a daily level as well as on the type of products that will move. Knowing this can be used to maximize the revenue and sales.

To finalize his talk he gave a second example on how clickstream data can be used to find the optimal pricing for new products. The methodology he proposed is mostly applicable to companies that have a lot of clickstream-data available and would rely on measuring through a test what are the clickstream results for a new product compared to a baseline drawn from the launch of similar products. Through this method, pricing can be set, not blindly, but rather with a good initial insight of where it should stand.


Nick Brittain (Director of Strategic Relationships at First Insight)
First Insight is a company that provides insights to Retailers. The main problem that they try to solve is how should Retailers plan for sales of new products (meaning expected sales volumes by price). He explained how this is an incredibly difficult question to answer, but through analytics Retailers can go a long way.

Nick Britain
Nick explained how First Insight is using the “wisdom of the crowd” to help their customers. “Wisdom of the crowd” can be described as independently asking a group of people a question, then translating those answers into a quantitative measure and finally aggregating all the response data to use the resulting distribution as an estimate. As he explained, this methodology relies on a frequentist analysis of the data, that needs to account for several levels of complexity like how to determine a sufficient sample, how to weigh different answers according to what you know of the respondents (i.e. it may be a good idea to weight a happy customer different than an unhappy customer). He continued discussing the complexity of their methodology since analytics is not the only challenge that they face. A big part of the problem is how to collect data in a way that would not bias the customers. While the final challenge is how to visualize the data in a way that allows for the insights to be extracted.

His final point was to highlight how through a methodology like this one, you get the advantage of testing the results from the predictions. This result validation allows for continuous improvement to every step of the funnel, which can lead to very reliable estimates.


Next event: Analytics in Retail

We are pleased to anounce our next event: Analytics in Retail. We will explore how retailers could use big data and analytics to enhnace customer experience an also achieve supply chain efficiencies.
It is a great honour to have in our panel Jaume Portell, CEO at Beabloo, Victor Martinez de Albeniz, Professor of Production, Technology and Operations Management at IESE and Nick Brittain, Director of Strategic Relationships at First Insight.

Register here!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 19:00 PM

Mobile World Centre – fontanella 2, 08002 Barcelona

Schibsted Tech Talk: Empowering the next generation of engineers

The future is in need of smart engineers who will design and build devices, robots and software that will improve our lives. Computational thinking, which includes problem decomposition, data representation, abstraction and algorithmic skills,will be a fundamental skill set that these engineers will have, and, in fact, not only them but any person whose job involves problems solving.

Despite the importance of computational thinking, this skill set is still not widespread in the education of the children and youth of today. In this session different speakers will talk to us about how they are empowering the kids of today to become the engineers of the future.

We are very happy to announce that Linda Liukas from HelloRuby will be the keynote speaker of this exciting Schibsted evening. Linda is a Finnish developer and educator who has co-founded Rails Girls and who has written Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding, a book to teach kids how to program in a fun way.

Accompanying Linda we will also have two educational organisations, CodeLearn and Girls in Lab, who will talk about how to bring computer programming and technology to kids.

Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CEST) – Add to Calendar
Betahaus – Carrer de Vilafranca, 7, 08024 Barcelona – View Map

How analytics can improve marketing: event take aways

Our event on Measurement & Marketing Effectiveness brought together three speakers from industry that shared their experiences and use cases in marketing and analytics. (See the a summary video here)

The evening started with a report on the hackathon we organised together with Social Point back in November last year. The goal of the hackathon was to build a churn predictor, predicting which users will stop playing one of the games from Social Point. The hackathon was a great success and we hope to do another one this year. So far no date has been decided.

Our first speaker of the evening was Bosco Aranguren, Head of Media Buying Solutions at Google Spain & Portugal. He explained us that one of the classic wisdom in getting a competitive advantage still holds. The ability to learn more about your customer faster than your competition and the ability to turn that learning into action. Only now we have more data to learn from.


He took us through four challenges in creating a data driven customer centric organization: Technical Infrastructure, Right Skillset and Organizational Structure, Creating Customer centric insights and Data Activation. For example, in terms of technical infrastructure it is important to avoid data silos and to allow a holistic view of your campaigns and customer data.

Finally, he presented four use cases in which Google worked together with the Boston Consulting Group, TalkTalk, L’Oreal and Peugeot and used different technologies to improve the impact of marketing campaigns.
Our second speaker of the evening was Eva López, Client Service Director at Ipsos Connect Barcelona. She explained to us a study that they did to measure the  performance of a marketing campaign shown only on television versus a campaign running on both television and digital. They created a controlled setup in which subjects were asked to watch television or use a youtube-like application while they recorded the subject’s behavior. The study was performed in 7 countries with 5200 subjects.


The results of the study showed that running a campaign on both television and digital results in a higher brand and ad awareness as well as a higher purchase intent than when running it on television alone. Due to the nature of the study, many aspects of the effects of the campaign could be studied. For example, people are less likely to skip an ad on youtube with stronger brands and having an entertaining and engaging creative has a very big impact on effect of the advertisement. Overall, the study provides some concrete evidence and answers to questions many of us have asked in the marketing industry.
Our third and final speaker of the evening was René Dechamps, Data Science & Analytics Director at Neo@Ogilvy Spain. René shared with us some valuable lessons learned when doing business in the analytics industry. He explained the importance of talking to the right people in an organisation and the impact of when you do not. He shared an example in which the lack of standardisation and documentation turned a six month project into a three year project. Such lessons learned can be painful, but are extremely valuable in making analytics projects succeed.


He took us step-by-step through a use case in which his company had to define KPIs based on business questions for a major media company in Finland. The example showed some of the finer details of how to implement analytics in an organisation and make KPIs actionable.
After the presentations the audience got the opportunity to ask questions, allowing the speakers to address some further details of their approaches. The session closed with drinks and a chance for visitors to do some networking and discuss the topics presented.



Next BCNAnalytics event: Measurement & Marketing Effectiveness

Join us and our great speakers in this new BCNAnalytics event where we will explore how data can help us measuring and improving marketing strategies.

This time we have the honour to have with us:
Bosco Aranguren – Head of Media Buying Solutions at Google Spain & Portugal
Eva López – Client Service Director at Ipsos Connect Barcelona
René Dechamps – Data Science & Analytics Director at Neo@Ogilvy Spain

Monday, April 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Mobile World Centre – fontanella 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain – View Map



Save your date! Barcelona Data Science Meeting

Join Barcelona GSE for the first edition of the Barcelona Data Science Meeting, taking placeMarch 21-22, 2016 at UPF’s Ciutadella Campus.

Organized by the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics with participation of the Ramón Areces Foundation, this two-day meeting will bring together international Data Science experts from academia and industry:

Alberto Cavallo (MIT)
“The Billion Prices Project: Using Online Data for Inflation Measurement and Research”
Costantinos Daskalakis (MIT)
“Testing and Learning Distributions in Sublinear Time”
Andrew Gelman (Columbia University)
“Little Data: How Traditional Statistical Ideas Remain Relevant in a Big-Data World; or, The Statistical Crisis in Science; or, Open Problems in Bayesian Data Analysis”
Alexandros Karatzoglou (Telefonica)
“Deep Learning”
Modesto Orozco (IRB)
“Flops and Bytes in Biology”

Speakers from companies will be announced shortly.
The conference aims to create an open environment for debate and exchange of knowledge, ideas, and views among researchers, professional experts, and students. We hope you will join us for the inaugural edition!

Registration deadline: March 14, 2016

Video and highlights of the event From Customer to Revenue

From Customer to Revenue, the theme of our third event, brought together two speakers from industry to address challenges in revenue management.

We started the evening with a series of updates: 1) The BCNanalytics job board is a success and can be found on our homepage. 2) On 14th and 15th of November we will organize a Hackathon in collaboration with Social Point, further details can be found here. 3) We supported an intern named Enrico Kunz in analyzing twitter feeds to identify deals from tweets. Finally, our two industry speakers,  Sharon Biggar from Social Point and Francesc Paloma from Vueling, took the stage to share their experiences in revenue management.

Sharon from Social Point

Sharon started by explaining Social Point’s business model of free to play and how their games should not be seen as finalized products, but rather their games are continuously updated with content and feature updates. She went over various examples of how analytics helped Social Point identify points of improvement in their games. Analysing at which point in the gaming experience users drop out. Examining correlations between high transactions and high use of game features. Understanding the best use of bundled offers of in-game purchases to help convince users to make their first transaction. A general good rule of thumb that has shown to work well in Social Point’s free-to-play approach is “If the game is fun, the money will come”.

Francesc from Vueling

Francesc explained how Vueling has evolved in being data-driven since 2007. At Vueling it is important to identify periods that will result in a high number of bookings early on and have ticket prices that correspond to high demand. This means accounting for the different holiday periods in different countries, but also special events such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In recent years, however, revenue management for airlines has mainly developed in the area of ancillary revenues, or revenues from non-ticket sources, such as seat reservation or on-board food services. Francesc gave several examples on how data helped in deciding on the pricing strategy such as fixing a ticket price for 24 hours before booking or using a dynamic price system for seat reservations.

Sharon and Francesc

After the presentations the audience got the opportunity to ask questions, allowing the speakers to address some further details of their approaches. The session closed with drinks and a chance for visitors to do some networking and discuss the topics presented.

Barcelona Gaming Data Hackathon. Ready?


Logo SocialPoint





BCNAnalytics and SocialPoint are pleased to invite you to the first Barcelona Gaming Data Hackathon.  40 participants. 10 teams. +€1.5k euros in prizes. 24 hours. Food, t-shirts, great views and awesome people. R, Python, ML, … Ready?

The competition will focus on analyzing the data about the Dragon City Game (iOS and Android). Teams will participate in 2 different tracks: the accuracy track about churn detection and the business insights track, about finding actionable insights from the given datasets.


Social Point Offices



The hackathon has two tracks to compete for. They are both about the Dragon City (iOS and Android).

  • Accuracy track: given data about how online players behave in Dragon City game, you will need to predict when players are likely to abandon the game using data from the players first 48hrs in the game (churn model).  As in Kaggle competitions,  teams will have 3 data sets: the training set, the test set1 and the test set2.  The training set  will have feature variables and a target variable to train the models. Once a model is trained, you can use test set (provided without the target variable) to submit your results and get instant feedback of the performance of the model.  Whenever you feel confident with your result, you will have to use test2 to make the final submission. Only results from test set2 will be used to determine the winners of this track. Each team will have 24 hours to build and submit their models (from Saturday 14th November to Sunday 15th November).
  • Business Insights track: participants will need to present actionable insights from the dataset provided (e.g. increasing the difficulty in level 12 will decrease 13% the drop out on that level). Each team will have 8 minutes to expose the finded results to the jury.  The results will be evaluated based on the impact of the insights, the actionability, the understandability of its communication and the novelty of the results. Each team will have one hour to prepare the presentation after the accuracy competition closes, although we encourage to be thinking about those insights while analyzing the data for the Accuracy track.


  • Accuracy track: 1st prize 750€, 2nd prize 500€
  • Business insights track: unique prize 500€


Saturday 14th November

  • 9:00 Opening and participants check in.
  • 9:30 Presentation by BCNAnalytics and SocialPoint. Team Formation
  • 10:00 Competition start. Data sets are released and submission platform begins accepting submissions.
  • 14:00 Lunch all together to a cool place 🙂
  • 20:00 SocialPoint offices closes

Sunday 15th November

  • 9:00 SocialPoint offices reopen
  • 10:00 Accuracy competition closes. Submission platform stops accepting submissions. Teams can prepare the presentation for the business track.
  • 11:00 Begin presentations
  • 13:00 Jury delivery
  • 13:30 Prizes
  • 14:30 Closing and optional lunch.

Participants and registration process

40 participants, 4 members per team.

To participate to the hackathon, start registering here, providing your Linkedin and Github profiles. If you already have a team formed, indicated the name of it in the registration form. If you don’t have a team, register and we will assign you a team.

The deadline for registering is Monday 9th November. The acceptance process is based on the public profiles provided. Once you or your team has been accepted, you will be notified about it.


  • Each participant can only participate in one team.
  • In order to opt to prizes, all teams must participate in both competitions.

This competition would not be possible without the help of SocialPoint. Thanks!

Logo SocialPoint



Upcoming event: From Customer to Revenue

We are very pleased to announce an upcoming event at BCNAnalytics. In this occasion we will be honoured with Sharon Biggar, head of Analytics at Social Point and Francesc Paloma, head of revenue management at Vueling. The format will be similar to the previous events: small presentations of the speakers, Q&A and finally networking time.

When: 21st September, at 19:00 (doors open at 18:30)

Where: Mobile World Center (next to Plaça Catalunya).
Fontanella, 2. Barcelona.

You can register here!

sharon-headSharon Biggar is the Head of Analytics at Social Point, one of the world’s leading developers of games for mobile, with more than 50 million active monthly players generating terabytes of data daily. There, she ensures that SP has the Big Data architecture ready to support the user base, analyses game play and user comments to improve the games and analyses user behavior to help customize user experience with predictive models.

Prior to that, Sharon was the CEO of Path Intelligence, a technology that provides online analytics to the offline world, analyzing customer behavior in shopping malls, retailers and entertainment arenas.

Sharon is a kiwi (from New Zeland). She holds a degree in Music and a degree in Economics, from the University of Auckland, and an MBA from the MIT  – Sloan School of Management.

Francesc PalomaFrancesc Paloma is the Director of Revenue Management & Pricing  at Vueling, where he has held various positions related to revenue management and pricing. He is responsible for dynamic flight price setting and other revenue management initiatives. Revenue management has become a more sophisticated analysis in recent years as competition has increased and data is more readily available. Vueling has also been innovative in terms of revenue strategies.

Prior to that, Francesc has lead analytics projects applied to social exclusion in Barcelona and was an auditor of lotteries at Loto Catalunya. He has also been a professor of Mathematics at the School of Engineering at UPC.

Francesc hold a degree in Math from UPC and an MBA from UPF, as well as a PDD from IESE.