Organizations of every type solve problems by tapping the creativity and drive inherent in crowdsourcing.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor and outsourcing them to a generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call.

Amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time may participate in crowdsourcing, as may experts or businesses that had been unknown to the contractor initiating the call for crowdsourcing.

The word unites “crowd” and “outsourcing.” Users (the crowd) are formed into online communities, and the communities submit solutions. The crowd also sorts through the solutions, finding the best ones.

Best solutions are then owned by the entity that broadcast the call in the first place–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 thanks for a job well done.

How does crowdsourcing work?

Crowdsourcing is done through an online “task market,” or crowdsourcing platform that connects participants with tasks that serve the end goal. Similarly to how bees in an active hive perform their designated tasks toward a common goal, participants in crowdsourcing give of their time, dedication, and expertise to solve a problem or create something new.

How is crowdsourcing used as an ideation solution?

Companies and organizations that want to gather ideas related to products, processes, policies, markets and more can utilize the crowd for ideation on solutions to particular challenges. There’s much truth in the idea that crowds as a whole are smarter than the most intelligent person in them since collective wisdom can identify solutions and opportunities that may be missed by an individual. Consequently, when crowdsourcing is used as an ideation solution, organizations quite often benefit from insights they never anticipated.

Ideation is one of the most popular uses of crowdsourcing in IdeaScale. IdeaScale’s simple idea submission and easy-to-use voting interfaces help the best ideas present in any crowd emerge. Crowdsourcing has been used to great success in educationfinancethe nonprofit sector, and more.

Why use crowdsourcing for your company?

The creativity and enthusiasm that accompany many crowdsource efforts are major reasons to try it. Additionally, savings can be realized because of the access companies gain to large numbers of designs or ideas. 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.

Can IdeaScale be used for crowdsourcing?

You can create your own crowdsourcing community quickly and easily with IdeaScale. 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 bubble up to the top.

While IdeaScale is used for the front-end of crowdsourcing including the gathering and building on promising ideas, 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 business, education, government, and more.

IdeaScale has been used to gather ideas from the crowd for numerous purposes including new product development, product refinement programs, cost savings ideas, citizen engagement initiatives, citizen journalism programs, customer feedback, challenge-specific work, and more.

How can you get started with the IdeaScale platform?

The best way to get started with the IdeaScale platform is to take an online product tour or request a demo. Learn how IdeaScale uses strategic planning, custom content, notification tools, custom fields, and outstanding security measures to help clients put crowdsourcing to work and enjoy the great results.

How you use IdeaScale depends on your goals and the work that you would like to complete using crowdsourcing. We encourage you to get our Innovation Starter Kit so you can get started right away.