Big Data Winning: R Analytics Contest Seeks Innovative Apps

Big data has spawned a new era of innovation, and as the enterprise finds more ways to slot big data analytics into their business needs, more products emerge for implementation.  To uncover the potential behind the latest big data trends, Revolution Analytics held a little contest, announcing the winners of its first  “Applications of R in Business” competition.   The contest encouraged data scientists to send in their own piece of analytics software to compete with other submissions for a chance to win a cash award.  There was no requirement concerning specific areas or uses, just that the apps need to be written in the R analytics-dedicated programming language.

Shannon Terry and Ben Ogorek of Nationwide Insurance came in first place and won the $10,000 grand prize with a marketing efficiency forecasting system, which can report the impact of policy changes on consumer behavior based on a relatively tiny dataset. Jeffrey Breen’s Twitter data mining app, designed to measure airlines’ customer satisfaction rates, got him the title of first runner up.

The main purpose of Revolution’s contest extends beyond just growing the company’s public awareness to  include crowdsourcing as well. The firm has received a sizable amount of entries, some of which it may be able to use in order to strengthen its offerings portfolio.

“There’s no better way to see a technology’s strengths than to look at its applications. R attracts some incredibly innovative minds, and it has been exciting to see a wide set of examples of R being put to use in business, said Edd Dumbill, the chair of the O’Reilly Strata conference and one of the judges that selected the winning app.”It is imperative that businesses get agile and powerful tools to work with to analyze data.”

Some of the other members of the candidate review panel included Edd Dumbill, the chair of the O’Reilly Strata conference said this in a statement, the founder of OpenBI and Hadley Wickham, R package author and professor at Rice University.

Revolution had some news a couple months ago. It released v5 of its flagship solution, the first release that ships with Hadoop integrated.