June 4, 2007

Netflix Prize Still Awaits a Movie Seer

Since its inception Netflix has employed analytics to drive growth and increase their competitive advantage. Lasf fall they launched a contest, seeking the brains and skills of analytics gurus outside their company. The goal: improve the accuracy of the existing Cinewatch movie recommendation system. The prize: $1 million.

The following article from the New York Times provides a summary of the contest results to date. Details about the contest are available at Netflix Prize.

Sometimes a good idea becomes a great one after it is set loose.

Last October, Netflix, the online movie rental service, announced that it would award $1 million to the first person or team who can devise a system that is 10 percent more accurate than the company’s current system for recommending movies that customers would like.

About 18,000 teams from more than 150 countries — using ideas from machine learning, neural networks, collaborative filtering and data mining — have submitted more than 12,000 sets of guesses. And the improvement level to Netflix’s rating system is now at 7.42 percent.

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