The goal of the collaboration between BBVA and the University of Navarra is to address the lack of skills and knowledge related to data affecting organizations. “This specialization is becoming increasingly important to optimize all business models, but according to a study by the European Union, the available data talent will not be able to meet the needs of companies in the next decade,” explains Marco Bonilla, Head of the Advanced Analytics Community of Practice at BBVA . “By 2030, Europe could lack more than 200,000 professionals, but in Spain, for example, young people interested in studying data science have only been able to do so for three years.”
If there is massive adoption of artificial intelligence technologies in the coming years, as some scenarios predict, education systems will not be able to keep up with labor market demands, according to the EU report. “That’s why we at BBVA decided to do this training internally”continues Bonilla. “The agreement with the University of Navarra is the only one of its kind in Spain among the collaborations between companies and universities, given its clear employment orientation. Thanks to this, we offer our professionals the opportunity to qualify at one of the educational institutions that are at the forefront in this field in our country with their Master’s degree in Big Data Science, the first official Master’s degree of its kind. Having already trained 130 professionals, the formula is working and allowing us to have profiles that we didn’t have two years ago, which will help further advance the strategy of transforming BBVA into a data-driven bank to enhance the experience of their improve customers. Customers”.
These 130 new experts join in 700+ data scientists and more from 2,000 specialists who the bank has been training since 2018 via the BBVA campus, the group’s training model. “In general, more than 50,000 employees have completed some data-related training through the BBVA campus, which we have made one of our main axes for attracting and retaining talent,” says Marco Bonilla.
Training for every business area
Of those educated at the University of Navarra, 50 are graduates of the Master in Big Data Science, in which employees acquire knowledge and skills in data analysis, programming and data processing, “machine learning” and artificial intelligence and have the opportunity to participate in international “datathons” as part of the training program. Professionals from all business areas of the bank can enroll if they meet certain requirements, e.g. B. earned a certain percentage of credits in math, statistics, probability, or programming in their career. “Some of the graduates who weren’t data scientists when they started their master’s program are now working in a related field,” says Bonilla.
BBVA employees also have the opportunity to participate as part of the innovative and gamified learning experience, The Camp be certified as data scientists created “ad hoc” together with the University of Navarra. To do this, they must have completed 400 hours of work on the bank’s “Big Data” platform and the introductory course “Data Scientist Fundamentals”, which BBVA offers its employees in cooperation with Telefónica, so that they can learn programming, statistics or machine learning in the financial sector .
For employees who meet these requirements and wish to apply for certification with the University of Navarra, the university provides a tutor who will analyze in depth the real data projects they have carried out or are carrying out at BBVA and show them what improvements they should introduce to achieve best results achieve. After a theoretical exam, they receive the certification, which they have already achieved in two years almost 70 of the more than 500 who have completed the Data Scientist Fundamentals course.
teachers and doctors
BBVA employees can not only train, but also give courses to support the training of the experts of the future. For now, ten of the guest lecturers from the university are BBVA Data Scientists. You also have the option of doing an industrial doctorate (ie applied to a bank case study) in one of the doctoral programs offered by the University of Navarra. Currently there ten graduate students from Spain, Mexico and Turkey working in areas such as CIB, Internal Audit, Risks, Engineering and AI Factory. Or they become part of the university’s Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Institute (DATAI), where they conduct scientific research together.
The benefits of working with the University of Navarra also apply to university students not affiliated with the BBVA who are writing their master’s thesis at the bank or who choose to become part of the staff through the university’s job board.
Other joint actions between the two companies include the participation of the BBVA AI Factory in SofIA, the University of Navarra’s startup acceleration program, through which it is investigating the use of synthetic data with the company Dedomena, or the preparation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC ) for data analysts, which will be available on Coursera in the coming months.