“In a standard crowdsourcing process, the input of the crowd isn’t necessarily aggregated into a final output,” explains EY Global Deputy People Advisory Services Leader Liz Fealy. “And our clients have found that it is the synthesis of data into insight – actionable insights that are right for them – that is the most valuable piece of the puzzle. For this reason, crowdsourcing is a useful addition to accelerate innovation in the wider resource mix, but ineffective when it’s used as a substitute for strategic and operational planning.”
It’s not what you know, but how you use it
Collecting behavioral insights (amongst others) using crowdsourcing has been a growing trend for decades. In fact, crowdsourcing existed as a concept long before the term was invented. The open-source software movement of the 1980s proved that insights from large numbers of people could be collected to produce better technology.
Crowdsourcing works on the principle of “many heads are better than one” – i.e., superior-quality content is achieved because of the diverse range of perspectives shared. In terms of information, it is the most comprehensive. In terms of design, it is optimally conceptualized. In terms of micro tasks, it is optimally detailed.
In a piece titled: How should we make collective decisions, Amartya Sen notes “…for both ethical and practical reasons, social scientists have long investigated how the concerns of a society’s members can be reflected in one way or another in its collective decisions.” While the practice is not without compromise, the consensus is that democratizing decision-making is a highly positive practice. According to research from Cloverpop, generally, teams make better decisions than individuals 66% of the time. When diversity is added to the equation (including age, gender and geography), teams make better decisions 87% of the time.
Today, enabled by remote and virtual technologies, humans and workforces around the world have discovered new ways of communicating and collaborating to build bonds that transcend physical distance.