December 12, 2017, 7:02 am
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Tech start up makes big data relevant with business experience, deep insights


TECH start ups are commonly built up by youthful millennials. Cobena, a big data analytics company however is a “tech start up by old people.” 

This description came from Cobena President and CEO Francis del Val, who despite the humor in the moniker accurately referred to the fact that the company was established by seasoned information technology and business practitioners. The combined experiences provides something that no data analytics company can provide with simply by running data through programs and algorithms—deep insights that break down big data that can grow local industries and economy and guide businesses and government.

Established in April of last year, Cobena offers the tools, means, and right counsel, all backed by information gathered from official sources and experts in the field. Of these functions, right counsel is the above ground translation of all this available data which according to del Val can make a big difference into how data is seen.

“We can provide a deeper look into big data, which in turn provides our customers with a way to magnify their own experiences, not just to see in one dimension but in several dimensions with just one look,” del Val said in an interview.

Cobena’s synthesized thought leaders with data scientists and business geeks. The synergy allows enterprises to digitally transform through the power of big data. 

Chief Analytics Officer John Paul Vergara said that sifting and categorizing big data isn’t enough. The strong point of Cobena’s systems finds the patterns through the sea of data and mine new insights from the correlations. 

“Using specific algorithms, we explore data and find ways to make the data useful for the company depending on the need. This includes business predictability, steps up from simple analytics. There is data in new places and with out software we can further enhance enterprise ability to predict its business future,” Vergara explains.

Del Val emphasized how the country’s business environment performing at a 6.9 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is driven by manufacturing, trade, real estate, rental, and business activities for the third quarter of 2017. The country remains among the fastest growing Asian economies today. 

The Cobena chief said the country is poised to sustain a strong momentum given proper access to data that enables businesses and even government to make smarter decisions. 

“Now is the time for enterprises and government to embrace Big Data Analytics. We offer our partners with interpretative, predictive, and actionable analytics to help them take the right steps in growing their businesses and in turn contribute to the country’s positive economic performance,” del Val comments. 

Big data can be made available to anyone who has the ability to consolidate and access it, thus proper utlization also can expand opportunities for any business, private or public. The question is how knowledgeable and experienced are those that you choose to work with.

“Our method of interpreting data into powerful insights starts with asking the right questions and articulating clearly the problem or opportunity that needs to be addressed. From the insights we gather, we then collaborate with our clients and help them come up with innovate solutions that will help them transform their business,” he adds.

Cobena introduces its proprietary flagship service called Gateway, a geospatial analytics system that leverages on location data. Using a growing database with more than 100,000 establishments and over 250 data layers on socioeconomic and environmental collated from official government statistics and published sources, Gateway helps spot potential growth areas—from regions and provinces all the way to municipalities and barangays.  Gateway also helps in the study of economic trends that affect the performance of business and the economy. 

The layers of data can be cross matched and interconnected to provide insights that otherwise cannot be seen. These insights can then be translated by Cobena’s experts into practical opportunities for implementation.

For example, using Gateway, Cobena has found out important economic factors that could benefit the country. First, it has determined that by projecting the growth rate of the Philippine population and comparing it with the population statistics of its neighbors, the Philippines is poised to enter a demographic sweet spot from 2015-2040 where the economically active portion of the population will increase to about two-thirds of the population while the young dependent population will decline from a third to about only 25 per cent of the population during the same period. 

This could mean unprecedented economic expansion for the Philippines with the proper investments being placed in the development of infrastructure and human capital.  Cobena can help point these “sweet spots.”

Economies within the demographic sweet spot have opportunities for increased government investment in infrastructure  and  economic  development  as  a  result  of  a  decrease  in  spending  on  government  services primarily  necessitated  by  dependent  populations,  such  as  basic  education  and  primary  healthcare.  These economies also have opportunities for accelerated economic growth when individuals accumulate savings.

“We are proud to offer Gateway and our other services for the best interest of our partners, may they be private or public institutions. Big Data Analytics is a key tool in making smarter business decisions, engaging stakeholders, and formulating and executing policies that all Filipinos can benefit from, with the potential to significantly contribute to the growth of the Philippine economy,” del Val concludes.
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