The WiDS Conference (Women in Data Science) of Stanford University arrived in the Spanish capital on March 5th, bringing together in the Espacio Fundación Telefónica outstanding women from the technological, business, and academic fields to discuss about digital transformation and the latest innovations and applications in Big Data that are being carried out in Spain.
The day kicked off with the welcome of Carme Artigas, WiDS Ambassador of Madrid and Co-Founder and CEO of Synergic Partners, who highlighted the need to work with a new roadmap that helps to achieve a real impact of women. “In recent years, efforts have focused on giving visibility to women in society and in different fields of activity, but the time has come to work to strengthen their real impact in fields such as technology, whose transforming power is unquestionable”, said Artigas.
The event continued round three thematic blocks. During the first, a technical perspective on the latest innovations in Big Data was introduced and started with a presentation by Yolanda Lamilla, Strategic Director of Google Cloud, who spoke on how to lead the technological transformation in the Cloud. Then Emilly Stott, Go-to-Market (Health Moonshot) of Telefónica Alpha, explained the possible applications that the use of data poses for the improvement of health. In Stott’s words, “the health system throughout the world is experiencing a crisis but data analytics shows that this problem can be alleviated. Many models are being developed with which we can reduce chronic diseases and transform millions of lives through data”.
The closure of this first part was made by Asunción Gómez, Professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, who focused on the main challenges and opportunities that Deep Learning and semantic technologies offer.
Alberto Iglesias, editor at Innovadores (La Razón) was in charge of moderating the second block, interviewing three experts on the ethical and legal challenges that the use of data can generate. Leticia Gonçalves, President of Monsanto for Europe and the Middle East, highlighted the strategic value of Big Data for the agricultural industry, “a key tool for the sustainability of global food production by helping farmers make more efficient use of their resources. “.
Later, Miriam González, Founder and President of “Inspiring Girls International“, revealed their work of inspiring girls and adolescents and encouraging them to pursue professional careers of all kinds, including scientific and technological. As González explains, “at age 6 we already see that girls and boys identify certain jobs with a specific gender, which can condition their confidence and their decisions when defining their professional future”. Likewise, Miriam added that “the only limit a woman must have is that of her effort, not the one that society tells her.” Finally, Aurélie Pols, Chief Visionary Officer & Co-founder of Competing on Privacy, analyzed the legal perspective on the use of personal data.
The event ended with a round table on the business transformation produced by these technological advances, moderated by Jaime García Cantero, Content Director of El País Retina. The experts Paz Alvarado, Director of Digital Development and Innovation of Grupo Merck, Diana Díaz Agrela, Director of Analytical Systems and Big Data of Bankia and Belén Ruiz, Project Manager Data Management & Analytics of Repsol shared with the attendees their vision about Data Science as a disrupter of the business and the importance of Big Data for the digital transformation at their companies.
During the event, an honorable mention was also made to the Spanish team better positioned in the WiDS Datathon, a predictive analytical challenge based on the use of real data, provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which ranked 14th out of a total of 231 teams globally.
The second edition of WiDS Madrid is the consolidation of the Stanford conference in the Spanish capital, an event that says Carme Artigas “aspires to become a global reference to empower women interested in Data Science and scientific and technological disciplines”.