Kaggle’s startup advice: Ditch the daydreaming and start doing

When INTHEBLACK first looked at data science start-up Kaggle, it was two-and-a-half years old and had never really faced a setback. Now, at six, Kaggle has shrugged off disappointments and is looking for the next way to grow. When US insurance company Allstate sought to improve its vehicle-risk assessment tools, it didn’t call in the consultants. Instead, it handed its data over to problem-solving start-up Kaggle. The ensuing data analysis competition, which offered prize money of just US$10,000, resulted in an algorithm 340 per cent better than Allstate’s best internal system. Stories such as this made Kaggle one of the poster children for data start-ups in Australia and around the world soon after its 2010 launch. Its big idea – running competitions to solve data problems – got big data…


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