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HP uses big data to save the tropical forest

HP uses big data to save the tropical forest 

By leveraging the HP Vertica Analytics Platform and the Wildlife Picture Index Analytics System, HP helped deliver near-real-time data to CI scientists, whose access to data was previously hindered by limited scale and a lack of necessary technology.

“Analytics has transformed almost everything except the health of the planet,” said Sandy Andelman, SVP, Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Ecosystem Science and Economics (BGMC), and executive director, Vital Signs, CI. “In 2010, 193 countries couldn’t report on the health of their environments because they didn’t have the data. This is what Conservation International and Earth Insights are trying to fix.”

She hopes that by 2020 – the next time these countries have to report on their ecosystems – they will have the tools to do so.

“This is really a game-changer. HP technology is helping us produce better results. It’s helping us take action right away, rather than waiting until bad things happen. It’s an early-warning system,” said Jorge Ahumada, executive director, TEAM Network, BGMC, CI.

“What used to take a team weeks or months can now be done by a single person in a matter of hours,” he added.

As a result of HP Earth Insights, CI scientists now have a clearer picture of animal populations in tropical forests. They found that 22 per cent of the 275 species being monitored are either significantly decreasing in population, or decreasing compared to baseline populations, while 33 species – or 12 per cent – have significantly decreased numbers. The data also projects that a number of insectivore populations are declining.

The news isn’t good, but scientists can use the data to inform global decision-makers on how best to proceed with conservation. Now that the data is near-real-time, scientists and governments will be alerted to declining populations before it is too late to do anything about it.

For now, the technology is only being used to collect data on tropical forests, but it can eventually be applied to other industries, particularly health care, financial services, and the public sector.

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