Over at GigaOM, Derrick Harris writes that NASA has launched a series of TopCoder challenges designed to find innovative solutions to the government’s big data problems. In the Big Data Challenge, contestants will try to derive value from disparate, incompatible cross-agency data sets.
Although the possibility of influencing big data strategies within some of the country’s most advanced agencies might be novel, crowdsourcing solutions to these types of difficult problems is becoming rather common. TopCoder exists as a competitive platform for solving application development and design issues, and the Big Data Challenge is just the latest it’s hosting for NASA via the agency’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation and NASA Tournament Lab. There’s also general-purpose platform InnoCentive and wildly popular data science platform Kaggle.
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