Two epic data contests

Two major and exciting data analysis contests were announced (relatively) recently and I thought I'd point our visitors to them:
  • The citations and papers megadatabase Mendeley has announced The Mendeley API Binary Battle, ending on August 31st of this year. The competition is open-form and basically just seeks to find someone who'll create an interesting and popular app that does something to "make science more open." Entries are judged (by, among other people, Tim O'Reilly and the CTOs of Amazon and Thomson-Reuters) on a combination of usage statistics, "viralness", "making science more open", and "coolness." The prize is $10,001, though I should point out that the runner up gets a Quadricopter.
  • The Heritage Health Prize launches April 4th and seeks to "develop a breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations." The contest uses high-quality anonymized actual patient data and is expected to run for about two years. The prize is $3 million.
The Netflix Prize is probably the most famous example of a data analysis competition, and apparently resulted in a rather large increase in the efficacy of Netflix's movie preference prediction algorithms. IBM Systems Magazine's blog has a rundown of data prizes in general here.

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