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Revolution Analytics Announces "Applications of R in Business" Contest Winners

Company awards $20,000 to R applications used in insurance, manufacturing, airline, and pharmaceutical industries among others

Revolution Analytics, the leading commercial provider of R software, services and support, today announced that Shannon Terry and Ben Ogorek of Nationwide Insurance have won the company's first "Applications of R in Business" competition and received the $10,000 grand prize. Using R, the popular statistics language chosen by over 2 million analysts in academia and at cutting-edge companies such as Google and Bank of America, Terry and Ogorek built a direct marketing efficacy forecasting system that shows the incremental benefit of a marketing tactic when only a fraction of the marketing responses have been observed. This allows marketers to test alternatives, evaluate their relative impact while campaigns are "in-flight" and adjust expenditures for maximum return. Additionally, Jeffrey Breen was awarded $5,000 and named the first runner up for his application that mines Twitter for airline consumer satisfaction. Breen was able to utilize a combination of R packages to score tweets and produce easy-to-understand customer sentiment metrics.

David Smith, VP of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics, said, "We'd like to thank all of the data scientists who participated in our first R in Business competition and congratulate the winners. Each of the applications selected demonstrates how predictive analytics with R goes well beyond traditional business intelligence to empower business decision-makers to evaluate critical success factors within important business processes early and often. We see from the winning entries that a wide variety of industries and processes - from marketing, heavy manufacturing, clinical trial design, and IT project management all share a need for ongoing predictive analysis. Revolution Analytics delivers the only R-based, enterprise analytics framework, and by examining undiscovered applications of the R language, Revolution Analytics can further refine R tools to meet all organizations' deep analysis needs."

A panel of independent judges from within the R and business communities selected the grand prize and honorable mention winners. Judges included Edd Dumbill, Chair of O'Reilly's Strata Conference and writer for O'Reilly Media; David Menninger, VP and Research Director at Ventana Research; Steve Miller, technology writer and co-founder of OpenBI LLC; David White, Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen Group; and Hadley Wickham, R package author and professor at Rice University.

"There's no better way to see a technology's strengths than to look at its applications," stated Edd Dumbill. "R attracts some incredibly innovative minds, and it has been exciting to see a wide set of examples of R being put to use in business. It is imperative that businesses get agile and powerful tools to work with to analyze data."

"Such an opportunity to demonstrate the business relevance of R was too important to pass up," said Shannon Terry, Director in Customer Analytics at Nationwide Insurance. "With these contest submissions, we are excited to share our favorite applications of R from 2011. The open-source R community has genuinely inspired Nationwide, and thanks to this incredible community, we are generating new ideas and enhancing our analytic capabilities."

As the top winner, Terry and Ogorek also received Revolution R Enterprise 5.0, Revolution Analytics' production-grade R software with commercial enhancements for higher performance, greater scalability for big data analysis, and stronger reliability over open source R. Revolution Analytics first launched the "Applications of R in Business" competition to demonstrate real world uses of R solving business problems. The competition was open to all R users worldwide.

Honorable mention prizes of $1,000 were awarded to:

  • Steve Simon for "Predicting the Duration of Your Clinical Trial" - Simon developed a prediction model for patient accrual in clinical trials, which is a critical success factor in completing trials on time and on budget.
  • Bengt Maas and Hakan Koc for "Towards an Ideal Steel Plant" - Maas and Koc developed an online temperature prediction model for steel that calculates optimal default melting, processing, and casting temperatures so that processing conditions remain stable and higher material quality is ensured.
  • Shannon Terry & Ben Ogorek for "Quantifying Uncertainty in IT Estimates" - Terry and Ogorek were able to render accurate estimates of IT work effort, critical for deciding where in technology a business should invest.
  • Yihui Xie for "knitr: The Elegant, Flexible, and Fast Dynamic Report Generation with R" -Xie developed an application called knitr that saves time and human effort when analyzing R projects by eliminating the need to re-enter figures.
  • Imre Kocsis for "Time Series Analysis and Order Prediction with R" - Kocsis created a predictive model that supports visual data exploration and can be used to predict to arbitrarily long horizons in the future.

Nationwide Insurance is donating its prize money to the Mid-Ohio FoodBank. To see all winners of Revolution Analytics' "Applications of R in Business" competition, visit

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About Revolution Analytics

Revolution Analytics is the leading commercial provider of software and services based on the open source R project for statistical computing. Led by predictive analytics pioneer Norman Nie, the company brings high performance, productivity and enterprise readiness to R, the most powerful statistics language in the world. The company's flagship Revolution R product is designed to meet the production needs of large organizations in industries such as finance, life sciences, retail, manufacturing and media. Used by over 2 million analysts in academia and at cutting-edge companies such as Google, Bank of America and Acxiom, R has emerged as the standard of innovation in statistical analysis. Revolution Analytics is committed to fostering the continued growth of the R community through sponsorship of the community site, funding worldwide R user groups and offers free licenses of Revolution R Enterprise to everyone in academia.

Jasmine Teer
Page One PR for Revolution Analytics
 1 415-321-2348