Innova-tsn wins SAS Hackathon Energy Category for improving Madrid’s Bicycle Service

  • Over 70 teams from all over the world have participated in a new edition of the Hackathon organised by SAS.
  • With a project focused on promoting sustainable transport and improving the BiciMAD service, Innova Data Hub was the only Spanish team to win one of the 13 categories.


SAS,a leading company in analytics, has announced the winners of the latest edition of its Hackathon. Of the 70 qualified teams and 50 business cases, SAS recognised 13 teams for their innovative solutions using SAS Viya advanced analytics in the cloud, Microsoft Azure and other technologies. Innova Data Hub was the winner in the energy category of the Hackathon, as well as being among the top three projects in the IoT category. Innova-tsn is a consultancy firm specialising in the design and implementation of advanced analytics solutions, with a history of almost 20 years of experience and partnership with SAS Spain.


Award winners for improving ecological and sustainable transport through BiciMAD

According to a study by ISGlobal, Madrid and its metropolitan area suffer from high levels of pollution caused by cars and is in fact the urban area in Europe with the highest mortality rate directly related to this cause. To improve this situation, the use of sustainable means of transport has recently been intensified, such as BiciMAD, Madrid’s public electric bicycle rental system.

However, the increase in the number of users of this service has come with multiple challenges related to the availability of bicycles: on the one hand, problems with the replacement of bicycles at stations have generated complaints among users and, on the other hand, the increase in vandalism in certain areas generates serious maintenance problems and affects the availability of bicycles.

In this line, the Innova Data Hub team at Innova-tsn has been awarded for its project, which aims to improve the BiciMAD service. Thanks to a study of open data provided by the Madrid City Council and predictive models using Machine Learning techniques, the project is able to know and predict the demand for bicycles and their return at the stations, with the idea of studying and suggesting possible improvements in the management of replacement.


 “Transport in large cities is a field with a wide margin for improvement in terms of sustainability and environmental care, and where multiple initiatives can be supported by the application of advanced analytics,” says Emilia García, head of Alliances and Channel at SAS Iberia. “We are very proud that Innova-tsn has been awarded for this work that seeks to promote green transport using analytical models and SAS technology. Innova-tsn is a very important partner in our partner ecosystem and, together with the rest of our partners, we join forces and knowledge to find and create solutions that improve our lives.


Thus, the algorithm created by Innova Data Hub allows to maximise the number of bicycles available in high-demand stations and maximise the number of available stands in high-return stations. It also takes into account other factors necessary to improve the management of BiciMAD, such as restrictions related to the stock of bicycles, the number of recharges or the time and area of recharge.

In addition, thanks to advanced analytics, BiciMAD stations have been profiled, making it possible to identify those with the highest demand, with the aim of detecting the need to open new stations in that area, identifying those with a high rate of vandalism in order to increase investment in security, and finally, identifying the areas of the city with the best and worst connectivity and accessibility for cycling.

“As a company specialised in data mining solutions and advanced analytics, collecting data on bicycle use and creating predictive models to improve BiciMAD has been key to developing our project. The use of analytics, supported by SAS technology, has helped us design an optimisation solution that can be implemented in less than six minutes to reduce impossibilities by over 90%” says José Ignacio Bernaldo Quirós, Manager at Innova-tsn and leader of the Innova Data Hub team in the SAS Hackathon.


The SAS Hackathon, a unique format that drives innovation

Instead of a traditional in-person hackathon that brings together aspiring experts for several days, SAS Hackathon participants collaborated online for a month under the guidance of a company mentor through a variety of industry tracks. Each team had access to a learning portal and the chance to try out SAS techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision and data visualisation. Hackathon participants implemented SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure’s integrated, cloud-native technology to build insight tools, automated systems and models, and much more.


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