Saturday, April 2, 2011

Crowdsourcing Can Help Companies Find Scarce Data Analysis Skills

IT Business Edge

As Darren Vengroff, a former lead researcher for Amazon's recommendation engine, said in a Forbes article, Netflix "spent the same amount and got thousands, probably millions of engineer-years."

So it's not too surprising to see other companies trying to attain similar R&D returns by offering big bucks to folks who can help figure out the answers to complex data analysis questions.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, California physicians group Heritage Provider Network Inc. is offering $3 million to the participant who develops the best model to predict how many days a patient is likely to spend in the hospital in a year's time. Contestants will receive "anonymized" insurance-claims data to create their models.

Heritage executive Jonathan Gluck says the goal is to reduce the number of hospital visits, by identifying patients who could benefit from services such as home nurse visits.