Proliferation of digital data combined with the explosion in data volume makes how businesses ensure accuracy important to using data sets effectively. If data is inaccurate, its value diminishes regardless of the manner in which it is collected, aggregated or used. Verification of data can prove an expensive and time-consuming endeavor when done on a large scale. Crowdsourcing, however, presents a unique opportunity for the verification process of large-scale data from any type of business.
Big data on a massive scale
Ancestry.com recently acquired Archives.com for $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. Both of these sites deal in data on a massive scale, so combining the two creates a powerhouse of information where data accuracy directly affects the value to site users. On their own, both of these sites serve as research tools for family genealogy for users around the world. Archives.com has over 2.1 billion historical records. These records include photos, newspapers and other records necessary to conduct family genealogy research. Notably, Archives.com includes U.S. Census information through 1940.
Importance of accuracy
While all this information is stored in a massive database structure, it is likely managed, organized and processed with the use of computers and specially designed software. However, even the smartest computer is not 100 percent error proof. This is especially true when it comes to something subjective or identifying errors that fall outside a certain set of parameters. Some data may meet certain criteria or fall within a certain range and still have errors that result in inaccuracy.
For any company whose specialization is the accurate dissemination of information, this is extremely harmful to the ability to meet the demands of customers or users. The two main components of data verification are eliminating double entries and proofreading to identify problems that occurred in the transferring of data or to identify and correct inaccuracies. In the case of Anchives.com and Ancestry.com, the ability to provide accurate data is ultimately what ensures the success of both sites.
How crowdsourcing streamlines the verification process
Through crowdsourcing, data that serves as the backbone of a business model, as it does for Ancestry.com and Archives.com, is easily and quickly verified. Crowd labor is ready 24/7 to facilitate the verification process. For many businesses, collected information is time sensitive. With the around-the-clock availability of the crowd, crowdsourcing creates scalable solutions with a quick turnaround time – ensuring the value of the collected information is never diminished by the factor of time.
Specialized and trained crowd workers can verify information for accuracy and correct errors identified through proofreading. In addition, duplication is also easily managed as workers identify and mark double-entry data for deletion. With a workforce of more than 500,000 crowd workers to tap into, CrowdSource streamlines the verification process with scalable solutions. Massive data is broken into small tasks and tackled by multiple workers to ensure accuracy.
The model used to ensure accuracy ultimately depends on the type of business and the related data. Some data requires a more extensive process to ensure accuracy, while other data may only require a simple worker-agreement check. Regardless of the method used, crowdsourcing experts from the CrowdSource team develop, implement and moderate the verification process to provide as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible.
Cost-effectiveness of data verification by the crowd
Using traditional in-house resources or outsourcing data verification to a large firm can result in significantly high price tags, especially for big data on a massive scale. Using the crowd creates a scalable, cost-effective solution that provides clean data faster and cheaper. The process of verification is broken into simple tasks with a low cost per unit, resulting in big savings while allowing a business to stay focused on what it does best.
Tapping into crowd labor provides many opportunities to process, clean and interpret information beyond simply verifying it. Whether your business seeks to enrich, enhance, merge, analyze, translate or transcribe data, you can realize cost savings. This directly impacts your company’s ability to handle, interpret and utilize big data on any scale. Through the work of the crowd that uses the human element missing in computer-processed data by tapping into the collective power of the human brain, you get real results, real savings and real business value.