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Recently, the Boston Globe had a fascinating article on how more areas of science are getting into crowdsourcing. In this example, scholars were faced with a huge task of transcribing and translating half a million pieces of ancient text. In fact, “after a hundred-plus years, scholars have been able to work through only about 15 percent of the collection.” Then they hit upon a great idea: outsource it to all the history enthusiasts out there (and some gamers), and in a matter or months 4 million transcriptions poured into their systems.

Google and reCAPTCHA have been doing the same thing for a while. How many of you out there knew that you’ve been helping to “digitize books, newspapers and old time radio shows” every time you signed into a website?

reCAPTCHA example

Logging into Facebook has never felt more scholarly

Topple Your Ivory Tower

Can your business benefit from crowdsourcing internally? A recent global study of data scientists showed that only “12% of business intelligence professionals and 22% of data scientists strongly believe employees have the access to run experiments on data – undermining a company’s ability to rapidly test and validate ideas and thus its approach to innovation.” The perception here is that most businesses confine its data intelligence to just a few select people.

Part of this is a hold-over mentality from the days when data was much more difficult to manage and analyze. If your company mostly used Excel to maintain your data, giving everyone access to contribute to it was a huge pain. Furthermore, only a few math wizards had the skill to make sense of the data. Frequently, this would create bottlenecks in getting data to the masses, and innovation slowed to a crawl. But this is the old model.

Today’s business intelligence tools make access to data much faster, safer and more reliable. Not only that, tools to build reports, create trend graphs, and model forecasts are built right in. “Cloud BI” or BI via SaaS (Software as a Service) is democratizing data monitoring and analysis, providing sophisticated but easy to use tool at each employee’s fingertips. The more eyes are looking at the data, the more innovative ideas can emerge that will drive your business.

Insights For All

Say you want to know how much revenue is expected to come in this month. How would you figure that out? How would it compare to previous months? Future months? How about by client? A SaaS solution would have this readily available to you so you can get the data you need, fast. It might even look something like our product:
Sales Worth Forecasting
It’s simply the analysis you need, no IT guy or statistician needed, presently clearly and cleanly. Now imagine empowering your whole team with access to your data in this way, so that it is no longer indecipherable and hidden away. How would that change your business?

Try a free trial of our data intelligence product today.

Samuel Clemens
Sam is founder and chief of product & marketing for InsightSquared. Previously, Sam was VP Product at HubSpot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the founding team at Elance.com. His background also includes venture capital with Greylock Partners, the Algorithms group at Amazon.com, and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. Sam has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. In his off time he dives shipwrecks in the New England area.
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