LUCA's first 70 days

December 30, 2016
We are almost at the end of 2016, which has been a big year for the world of Big Data. One important milestone was the creation of LUCA, Telefonica’s new Data Unit, which focuses on developing Big Data solutions for private and public sector organizations. Our launch event took place on October 20th, which you can see an overview of here.
LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) has been warmly welcomed by the press, Industry Analysts and most importantly, our clients. Analysts firms such as Gartner, IDC, OVUM, and 451 said that Telefonica's strategic move with LUCA puts it well ahead of its competitors.
Since our launch, the LUCA team has worked frenetically to set up the business in the different countries where we operate, and LUCA is now launched world-wide in Germany (through Telefonica Next), UK, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina.
We have also regularly shared our views on the world of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence on our blog "Data Speaks". In our first 70 days of existence, we have shared various types of content as you can see below:
Our top 3 posts included our launch in Peru, our Mannequin Challenge and our proof of concept on commuter traffic in Madrid. We'll continue to post on such topics and much more in 2017 so make sure you don't miss out by subscribing here. Our goal is to bring you the best content possible in a timely fashion, sharing insights on cutting-edge technology and hands on-data science with the widest range of data sources possible.
Since we started working towards the launch of LUCA in the summer of 2016, we have participated in 22 external events giving talks or participating in panels. Most of the events were related to Big Data, and some of them about Artificial Intelligence, as you can see here.
We also carried out several proof of concepts in our Data Science team including Global Comms, a US Elections analysis using Hue lamps, Global Rider and a Commuting & Pollution analysis - all of which were published on our blog. We will deliver 12 more new proof of concepts in 2017. Last week we also published our first white paper on the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence, and we'll be sharing plenty more throughout 2017 to give the latest insights on the world of Big Data and AI.
Over the past few months, we have become obsessed with data, measuring as much as we can, aligned with our philosophy of making data-driven decisions. We are real fans of Lean Analytics, and we embed analytics in everything we do. We are not afraid to recognize our weaker points (“the KPIs that hurt”), and work hard to improve them, listening carefully to the data.
We will also significantly progress our projects on Big Data for Social Good, so watch out for our announcement at the Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona. We will also be making considerable progress as partners in the OPAL project, as well as applying Big Data to Digital Education in the Profuturo initiative.
We are also working to create what we like to call an extended organization, in the sense of Salim Ismail’s Exponential Organizations. There are many people, foundations and companies who are willing to contribute to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with data, so we believe in bringing those individuals together. We will be working with several universities around the world, including the Pontificia University of Salamanca in Spain, and the ESAN Graduate School of Business in Peru. If you are interested in collaborating with us for the greater good, please contact us at
To give our activities in Big Data for Social Good a boost, we will start a Talentum Lab where 10 recently graduated students will work enthusiastically to accelerate our projects which harness the power of data to have a social impact.
However, at LUCA we also think it's important to have fun whilst we're working hard. We came together with the rest of our CDO area, collaborating with different teams to work as one big family. For example, we filmed our very own Mannequin Challenge just over a month ago:
After the success of this viral challenge, with more than 6500 views, we decided to spread the Christmas spirit by doing a Global Christmas Lip Sync, in which Telefónica colleagues from more than 7 countries participated:
Video 2: Telefónica employees all over the world wish you Merry Christmas.
As you can see, it's been a busy 70 days in the LUCA team and now we're ready to make 2017 a success. We'll be bringing exciting new products and services to our customers, driving forwards our Big Data for Social Good initiative and creating the most compelling content possible to make sure data is being used in the most innovative ways possible. We'll be taking the most data-driven approach possible to our work, ensuring the best experience for our users and clients - so watch out and keep in touch with us on our blog or website.