Crowdsourcing Software Solutions & Platform
Organizations of every type solve problems by tapping the creativity and drive inherent in crowdsourcing.
Whether you’re launching an online clothing store or have an idea that you believe could change the world, a crowdsourcing platform can help catapult your project to the next level—from ideation to realization.
But why has crowdsourcing become an invaluable tool for companies? And how can it be leveraged to perform business-related tasks?
What is crowdsourcing?
According to a recent McKinsey survey, lack of skill and the ability to execute ideas was cited as a key barrier to innovation. With crowdsourcing, you can tap into the collective intelligence of a crowd with the goal of improving performance or discovering new ideas.
What is crowdsourcing exactly?
Crowdsourcing is the process of generating ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. The word is a contraction of “crowd” and “outsourcing.” Users (the crowd) are formed into online communities, and the communities submit solutions. The crowd also combs through and reviews the solutions, selecting the best ones.
The top picks are then owned by the entity that broadcasted the initial call–the crowdsourcer–and winning individuals in the crowd may be rewarded or acknowledged. In some cases, this labor is well-compensated, either monetarily, with prizes, or with recognition. In other cases, the rewards may be in the form of intellectual satisfaction or congratulations for a job well done.
As mentioned, the crowdsourcing process involves taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or independent contractor and outsourcing them to the larger community. Contractors or volunteers working in their spare time may participate in crowdsourcing, as may crowdsourcing experts or businesses.
Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are great examples of modern crowdsourcing. These companies found a way to effectively crowdsource transportation, using drivers with their own vehicles and drastically reducing labor costs since they aren’t technically classified as employees.
How does crowdsourcing work?
Businesses, governments, and organizations have been turning to crowds to discover new ideas for hundreds of years.
In 1714, for example, the British government offered a generous £20,000 reward, which equates to almost £3 million in U.S. dollars today, for anyone who could invent a device that accurately measured longitude at sea.
In today’s digital age, crowdsourcing can take many forms depending on a company’s goals.
However, in order to crowdsource successfully, a business needs to first divide a larger project into smaller micro-tasks. Then, using a crowdsourcing platform or online “task market,” these participants are united in one place. Similarly to how bees in an active hive perform their designated tasks to achieve a common goal, workers in these consumer-facing platforms offer their time, dedication, and expertise to solve a problem or create something entirely new.
What are the benefits of crowdsourcing?
There’s a reason why major corporations rely on crowdsourcing.
For one, crowds aren’t shy about providing feedback since they are typically the beneficiaries of the product or service in question. As such, you can expect the feedback to be valuable and genuinely help improve the brand. When “the crowd” submits ideas, you can expect them to exhibit far greater creative range than you would get from a hand-picked consultant. In short, crowdsourcing is an outstanding catalyst for innovation.
Not to mention, crowdsourcing exposes you to a diverse range of perspectives you wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. The best part is that you can choose from an extensive collection of ideas and suggestions.
Crowdsourcing doesn’t just mean you get access to the best ideas; it’s also about finding those ideas as fast as possible.
Whenever companies solve problems internally, they’re constricted by how quickly employees can work.
By inviting a wider network of people to participate in the process, businesses can get better ideas in a much shorter time frame. For more complex or time-sensitive projects, this can make all the difference.
But, perhaps the best thing about crowdsourcing is that it is significantly cheaper when compared to other costly alternatives like hiring a content creator or consultant.
How is crowdsourcing used as an ideation solution?
Crowdsourcing companies and organizations that want to gather ideas related to products, processes, policies, markets, and more can utilize the crowd to better address particular challenges. There’s much truth in the notion that crowds as a whole are smarter than the most intelligent person in them. Collective wisdom can often identify solutions and opportunities that may be overlooked by an individual. Consequently, when crowdsourcing is used as an ideation solution, organizations can benefit from insights they never anticipated.
The success of crowdsourcing and ideation will often depend on the following factors:
- The cost and ease of use of the innovation solution.
- Whether or not it’s clear why certain ideas outperform other ideas.
- Easy ways to gain and share knowledge.
- Showing appreciation to users who contribute ideas.
- Following up and converting potentially good ideas into great propositions.
Ideation is one of the best crowdsourcing uses in IdeaScale. IdeaScale’s simple idea submission and easy-to-use voting interfaces help elevate the best ideas in the crowd. Crowdsourcing has been used to great success in education, finance, the nonprofit sector, and more.
Can IdeaScale be used for crowdsourcing?
While crowdsourcing as a concept has been around for a while, the tools available to businesses are more flexible and easier to manage than ever before. With IdeaScale, you can create your own crowdsourcing community quickly and easily. It’s a turn-key solution that allows for the submission of simple or complex solutions and the vetting and sorting of ideas so that the best ideas rise up to the top. The IdeaScale tool can also be applied in various business areas, spanning product development, market refinement, cost savings, citizen engagement initiatives, citizen journalism programs, customer feedback, open innovation, knowledge base, and more.
While IdeaScale is used for the front-end of crowdsourcing, it also has powerful back-end features that help stakeholders and administrators discover ways of taking the work generated by the crowd and making it a reality in businesses across industries.
How can you get started with the IdeaScale crowdsourcing platform?
The best way to get started with the IdeaScale platform is to take an online product tour or request a demo.
From there, you can learn how IdeaScale uses strategic planning, custom content, notification tools, custom fields, and stellar security measures to help clients put crowdsourcing to work and reap amazing results.
How you use IdeaScale depends on your goals and how you plan on using our crowdsourcing software solutions. We encourage you to get our Innovation Starter Kit so that you can get started right away.