The Two Ways Big Data Helps Developing Nations

Big data tools have become a national conversation in across U.S. enterprise as businesses try to leverage their existing data into a competitive advantage. Companies in industrialized nations have used big data tools for complex processes like consumer personalization that create a unique experience for each individual. While big data tools create advantageous situations for businesses, they can also provide cost effective solutions for governance in developing nations. Although Big Data will not be able to create resource parity with wealthier countries, developing nations can harness the power and potential of Big Data to alleviate issues caused by challenges facing health care and tourism.

1. Improvement in health care
Healthcare is a difficult commodity to receive due to cost and geographical locations even in industrialized countries like the United States. Traditional healthcare data includes vital statistics and hospital administration statistics. But with advances in technology, healthcare providers can see medical records, mobile phone and purchase records, GPS, social media, and more. The increase in mobile phones usage among developing nations has presented an opportunity to improve the delivery of healthcare. India’s personal identification programme is an example of big data technology tools in healthcare. In 2010 the government in India issued cards and identification numbers to all of its citizens. The cards, identification numbers and biometric information gave opportunities to monitor health and social data including, electronic medical records and information on health insurance for low-income families. While this was an ambitious project for a developing country like India, the opportunity for success provided a foundation for collecting health statistics.

2. Improvement in tourism
In our previous post, we highlighted how tourism is changing in the information age. For developing nations, tourism can help generate revenue that can be transferred via taxes into essential services. Any improvements in the tourism industry could be highly beneficial for the overall economy of a developing nation. In Mexico, BBVA Bancomer, BBVA Data & Analytics, and SECTUR worked together in order to analyze digital footprint data of visitors in Mexico. Some of the findings of this study are listed below:
– National tourists used their credit cards for trips while the international tourists used their cards for entertainment
– The highest percentage of spending is generated by U.S. tourists, followed by visitors from Argentina.
– In Cancun and Playa del Carmen, tourist spending was concentrated on Fridays and Saturdays and was more stable during the week
Statistics provided by-

These statistics are only a small portion of the general findings from BBVA Data & Analytics. Businesses and companies in Mexico could use this data to their benefit and design promotions for busier periods of the week (Fridays and Saturdays). Additionally, they are able to anticipate when international tourists are more likely to visit islands or other tourist destinations in Mexico. These type of metrics are highly useful as they can provide new insights that were previously unavailable for businesses in developing countries.

At the current pace of technological advancement, big data tools will continue to increase in importance. Improvements in healthcare and tourism are two of the many ways in which big data technology can be used to benefit developing nations. Big data tools are still relatively new to the industrialized world, therefore leveraging this technology will be a necessary action for developing nations in order to compete in a global marketplace.


Tena, M. (2016, December 02). BBVA shows how Big Data can boost tourism in Mexico | BBVA. Retrieved January 29, 2018, from

Wyber, R., Vaillancourt, S., Perry, W., Mannava, P., Celi, L. A., & Folaranmi, T. (2015, January 30). Big data in global health: improving health in low- and middle-income countries. Retrieved January 30, 2018, from

United States Government . (n.d.). The official U.S. government site for Medicare. Retrieved January 30, 2018, from

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