Big Events & Big Data Redefine Rio de Janeiro

The digital economy has been a key agent of change in Latin America.  This is especially true in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  As Rio prepares for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic games, it is embracing technology and real time data management to ensure success.

The forces of Mobile, Social and Big Data are redefining a whole city and the major events that will take place there.  EMC is taking a leading role to help enable this transformation.

Rio de Janeiro’s Digital Economic Growth

Thinking beyond FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, Rio is taking advantage of its world-class appeal and these major events to attract large global organizations, embrace local academia, and promote a start-up friendly business environment.

Major construction and development often poses challenges related to transportation, security and healthcare. Rio is addressing many of these challenges by leveraging technology in the most innovative manner.

The Rio Center of Operations is one example.  By converging huge amounts of live data from a multitude of traffic and surveillance cameras, social networks and a variety of other data sources, the Center of Operations mobilizes the resources at its disposal to quickly remediate critical situations.

The government is not the only entity taking advantage of the growth of mobile data and infrastructure.  This modern approach is helping create a greater sense of community between “cariocas” (the people of Rio).  Startup companies are sprouting to offer enhanced mobile services that help to facilitate better life experiences to millions of people that call Rio home.

The numbers that represent the digital economy are impressive.  For example, Brazil has the fourth highest Internet usage in the world with 86 million users and the second largest national population on Facebook.  In addition, revenue generated via e-commerce is estimated to be worth $12B annually.

This leads to a greater technology-enabled population relying upon mobile information and new social platforms as a way to transform their economy and society altogether.

EMC Invests in Rio de Janeiro

In May, EMC will inaugurate a new R&D facility at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).  This facility will be located within the Technology Park on the UFRJ campus, joining Siemens, Schlumberger and Halliburton.

EMC’s Brazil R&D Center (BRDC) will provide a permanent home to the team of data scientists that have been working on relevant Big Data projects for the last 18 months such as joint research with several oil & gas companies, data repositories, industry technology providers and even the Rio government.

An example of a recent breakthrough is the work the BRDC has done on seismic data compression. Long thought uncompressible, the BRDC has created new algorithmic methods that significantly compress these terabyte files to just a fraction of their original size. This is very important for an industry that is struggling to bring more and more data online for advanced interpretation and analysis. Patents should be filed this month with field trials to commence shortly after.

The first EMC Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in Latin America will be located within the R&D Center and will support all Latin American business interests.  EBCs around the world help EMC customers tackle their hardest IT transformation questions, offering access to EMC subject matter experts, executives, and engineers through collaborative discussion sessions. EMC strives to accelerate the impact of our investments by offering proven, world-class customer engagements that leverage 20 years of success and experience as a global offering.

The city of Rio is a real-life laboratory where Big Data is a force of change.  It is an honor for us at EMC to be part of a quest to redefine as the world focuses attention on Rio during the next several years.

For more about the BRDC, follow @kbreitman and @timvoyt on Twitter.

About the Author: Bernie Baker