Last March, Kaggle was proud to announce that they were acquired by Google Cloud. This website uses “big data” and transform it into data much more than significant for companies, but not only. At first, it was a website that organized competitions in data science. But then companies came and exposed their issues in data science and offered prizes to data scientists that had the best performances. The rise of “big data” gave a strong interest in data processing and it has become important to analyse it, especially because of the huge and relavant amount of data that we possess. In this article, we will first see what is Kaggle, then we will explain why Google bought it and what this acquisition will bring to Kaggle first, but also to Goggle.
What is Kaggle and how does it work?
People uninterested in data science may have never heard of Kaggle. However, we are all concerned about personal data and what can be done with it. Created by the Australian economist Anthony Goldbloom in 2010, the half-Australian, half-Californian start-up has transformed “data science into a sport”. Predictive modeling, programming and data processing are presented as something that will bring the contestants “fortune, glory and pleasure”. More than 800,000 data scientists try to solve these issues in the fields of science, finance, energy and even in sales. It is a website for “nerds” but also for companies that want to save time in research and development. In the winner of the competition, companies can even find their own data scientist, because offering a job can be the prize of the data competition.
So it is a simple principle: someone prepares the competition, which can be private or public. These competitions can be of any type: some of them are free and just made for “geeks” and deal with funny topics like the first one on Kaggle, that is to say the prediction of the voting patterns of the Eurovision. Or it can be for companies, institutions or universities that share on Kaggle their data and what they need actually, and then statisticians and experts in data from all around the world kind of fight to solve these issues, by creating the best predictive model possible. Many big companies like Microsoft or General Electric have asked the services of the best ranked professionals on Kaggle.
At the end of the competition, and as mentioned before, the prizes are sometimes a job in the company that issued the problem, or money (and there can be huge amounts), and the ultimate right to use the algorithm or the software that were created by resolving the issue.
Kaggle therefore offers an advisory service that is undeniably useful for companies and for data scientist from all around to be recognized in a field that is getting more and more attractive.
It is also important for us to note that Kaggle is a specialist job board as well. There are around 910,000 data scientists registered on the website and there are many interesting offers.
Why Google bought them?
It is not something new. The biggest companies often take advantage of their notoriety, of their supremacy to buy little but promising companies so they don’t encroach on their conquered territory. Google bought Kaggle in order to reach more data scientists. And Kaggle’s community of data scientists is the biggest in the world. They wanted to improve in data science and machine learning as well.
Kaggle is now part of Google Cloud, but this will not change their current team. “The Kaggle team will remain together and will continue Kaggle as a distinct brand within Google Cloud. We will continue to grow our competitions and open data platforms, and we will remain open to all data scientists, companies, techniques and technologies.” said Anthony Goldbloom, the CEO, in a blog post on Kaggle. One thing is sure, this new collaboration will revolutionize the data science sector.
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