Improving Analytics Capabilities Through Crowdsourcing Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

How does a company managing outside the leading technology talent centers obtain access to the most advanced data scientists that money can buy? Assuming you can not recruit the right data analysts to join your team full time, how do you tap into contractors with the knowledge and imagination you need outside your center that is technical? A breeder might pollinate hundreds or even thousands of plants by hand to see what happened, to discover the most successful variety of corn, for example.

Syngenta was involved in a large scale version of trial and error research and development, conducting field tests on hundreds of thousands of plants every year in more than 150 places around the world. But given the results of experiments are often shaped by quirks and idiosyncrasies, it was sometimes difficult to draw meaningful conclusions. Syngenta's notion was to use information analytics to examine a broad variety of plant and seed varieties so it could identify the most desired plants early and make best use of resources (everything from capital to labor to land to time). Instead of investing resources and time on a growing number of testing, its aim was to make decisions about plant portfolios using science and hard data. The vision, compose writers Joseph Byrum and Alpheus Bingham, "was to create a suite of software tools that would replace instinct in plant breeding with data-backed science." The authors describe how open innovation can help businesses tackle complex business issues they can not solve on their own. Additionally they discuss lessons Syngenta learned as the business turned to several crowdsourcing platforms that are on-line to locate talent that could help it increase its R&D efficiency.

PUBLICATION DATE: July 01, 2016 PRODUCT #: SMR562-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE

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