Tarapacá Intelligence, data science in Chile

  • Technology Watch
03 | October | 2017
Tarapacá, Chile

Nowadays, the irruption of Data Science or Big Data emerges as a trend in strategic intelligence, in order to transform the way organizations of all kinds access data, manage information and make strategic decisions. Tarapacá Intelligence, is the first Chilean regional intelligence System developed by the Statistical Studies Unit DATA UC, of the Faculty of Mathematics of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. It was created to bring these innovation opportunities closer to companies, entrepreneurs, governments and citizens in Chile.

To know better the project, we spoke with Alexis Alvear Leyton, Civil Engineering, specialised in Data Science and Executive Director of Tarapacá Intelligence.

P: What is Tarapacá Intelligence?

Tarapacá Intelligence is a project focused on promoting the innovative development of the Tarapacá region in northern Chile, focusing on data science and access to strategic information, aimed at government authorities, entrepreneurs,  academic community and citizenship in general.


Q: What is the novelty of the project?

A: The main value of Tarapacá Intelligence is based on what we have called the "democratization of data". We believe that the free publication of strategic information with universal character is the key to reduce asymmetry of information and to improve successful decision making in organizations.
Thus, through the regional intelligence platform, anyone who is interested will be able to access social, economic, political and cultural data and indicators of the Tarapacá region, also to incorporate those in their strategies to improve knowledge and take advantage of opportunities.

Q: Why do you consider so important to bet on data scientists in the region?

A: Because when we talk about a platform that will provide strategic information on patterns of behaviour of social and economic phenomena, it requires that qualified human capital exists.They have to be able to take advantage of this information and transform it into knowledge. For example, from our experience, in every technology transfer project the key is to generate local capacities that are capable in such a way to give sustainability to the project. In this case, the most demanded professional profile is the data scientist.

Q: Which kind of activities do you promote?

A: There are several activities, on one hand, with the aim to socialize data science issue in the region and, on the other hand, to integrate the whole society so that they can use this tool in management. As an example of activities, various seminars have been organized for the dissemination and application of data science techniques and methodologies, data science courses for professionals, workshops, business meetings, among others. The University teaches the diploma in Systems of Intelligence for Competitiveness and soon we will launch the platform of regional intelligence.

Q: What this platform offer to its users?

A: The platform will be free and with universal access, allowing all interested parties to provide quality data and indicators from public and private databases.
To this end, a thorough investigation has been carried out on all existing databases in the country with information downloaded at a regional level, more than 2,000 data sources and records in various fields, such as health, education, economy and companies, among others. On the other hand, some private companies have also given us access to databases with very interesting information that has allowed us to monitor the performance of the local economy. Finally, the same team has been crossing information from different public and private databases, as well as complementary sources such as information from guilds, foundations and market research companies, which has facilitated access to very interesting and rich information in all areas of the local economy.

Q: To help the users, could you give us some examples of their use?

A: The platform will provide valuable information to the different stakeholders. For example, government authorities will be able to access dynamic and up-to-date indicators of social and economic behaviour in the region from a global perspective, enabling them to monitor the performance of public policies and focus investment on appropriate instruments that optimize Social impact . Entrepreneurs and companies will be able to access strategic data that will help them increase their competitiveness, for example they will access information that allows them to raise their business plans, detecting market opportunities with less risk. Academics will have relevant data to guide their research challenges, while the general public will be able to know through the data, the evolution of certain factors that will make life decisions in a more empowered way.

About Tarapacá Intelligence:

Tarapacá Intelligence is a project funded by the Innovation Fund for Regional Competitiveness (FIC-R 2015), promoted by the Regional Government and approved by the Honorable Regional Council of Tarapacá, and executed by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in partnership with the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Arturo Prat University and the Association of Industrialists of Iquique.

More information: Tarapacá Intelligence.