Download the white paper: R Competition Brings Out the Best in Data Analytics
by David Smith

It’s often been said that competition brings out the best in us.  We are all attracted to contests; our passion for competing seems hardwired into our souls. Apparently, even predictive modelers find the siren song of competition irresistible.

That’s what a small Australian firm named Kaggle has discovered – when given the chance, data scientists love to duke it out, just like everyone else. Kaggle describes itself as “an innovative solution for statistical/analytics outsourcing.” That’s a very formal way of saying that Kaggle manages competitions among the world’s best data scientists.

Here’s how it works: Corporations, governments and research laboratories are confronted with complex statistical challenges. They describe the problems to Kaggle and provide datasets. Kaggle converts the problems and the data into contests that are posted on its web site. The contests feature cash prizes ranging in value from $100 to $3 million. Kaggle’s clients range in size from tiny startups to multinational corporations such as Ford Motor Company and government agencies like NASA.




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