Big Data Contest Generates Big Ideas

Published Jun-06-16

Breakthrough:
Apps to detect malicious behavior and energy demands win a global big data competition.

Company:
Splunk Inc., United States

The Story:

Big Data Contest Generates Big Ideas The amount of big data in the world is growing exponentially and with it comes a wealth of opportunities to use information in novel ways.

Open innovation is one of the means by which companies and organizations are tapping into the value found within the data. Through competitions, initiatives and hackathons they are engaging the developer community and others to harness data’s potential.

Searching for the Next Big App

In 2015, Splunk, an American multinational organized the Splunk Aptitude App Contest to find the next big app in big data using Splunk software. And it offered some big money prizes to winners.

The open innovation big data contest was split into three categories: Fraud/Insider Threats, Social Impact and Innovation. And to help participants create innovative apps, organizers suggested data sets that they might like to use. They included data sets from DARPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Bank.

Top Three Winners

There were six winners overall, two in each category and they were selected by a panel of judges.
The first place winner in the Fraud/Insider category won $100,000 for the ‘Hyperthreat App Suite: Insider Threat Detection for the Masses’. It was built by a team that consisted of members from Switzerland and Germany.

The app detects insiders and malicious behavior by assigning risk scores for suspicious events. Each risk event is related to a risk object, and a risk object could be a system user or an employee doing something bad. If a risk object behaves badly over time, the risk score goes up such that it warrants further investigation. The innovation aims to make it easier to detect insiders and to avoid opening security incidents for every minor suspicious action, which is usually the cause of many false alerts.

The first place winner in the Social Impact category won $30,000 for ‘Energy Scan: Track Your Energy Demands for a Greener Tomorrow’. The software program was created by Data Analytics and UI Design, and is a Splunk-based Analytics Solution to monitor, analyze and optimize Energy Load Profiles. Gathering these insights from the data could make it easier for utility companies to increase operation efficiency by optimizing their processes

The first place winner in the Innovation category won $20,000 for ‘PRI Capacity: Enterprise Level PRI Capacity Monitoring and Automated DR Call Routing’. It was created by Frank DArrigo, and is a "way to automatically change call routing based on business conditions and to roll back to our normal call routing when appropriate."

Power of the Crowd

By definition, big data is, well, err...big. There is a lot of it flying around - structured, unstructured and semi-structured. And that requires a huge effort to organize it and extract meaningful potential and uses, something that can be achieved efficiently by leveraging the power of the crowd.

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