Weighing the Wisdom of the Crowd


Orb, and our partner Datassist, have won a major grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight News Challenge!

We're very proud to be receive a grant from the Knight Foundation. The Knight News Challenge on Data is funding breakthrough ideas that make data work for individuals and communities. More at Knight Blog.

Orb has a big idea. We are developing a digital survey tool that allows everyone—whether they're data scientists or not—the ability to poll the crowd and share reliable, credible results. We see a future where virtually anyone can easily collect, understand, and share more credible conclusions from crowd-sourced surveys. Users without access to costly opinion polling will no longer have to rely on best guesses, anecdotes, or raw responses to questionnaires or surveys. They will now be able to augment the existing approach with a set of software tools and online services that frame proper sampling questions, help construct, link, embed them into these existing survey and Q&A platforms, and help visualize and then statistically adjust the collected results, weighing them for demographic and other factors to make them more scientifically sound.

“This tool will allow people to more easily collect, analyze and present data, providing more meaningful insights into public opinion and helping to build more informed communities,” said John Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation.

Orb's stories fuse professional reporting with data analysis and knowledge from the crowd to produce journalism that empowers individuals with a global picture of our interconnected world. This survey tool will create new opportunities to meaningfully engage the public in our stories—and we're really excited about that!

The first public release of the tool should be out within four to six months, with a full “Version 1” of public software, services, documentation, and support available in about nine months.

You can see more information about the tool at our Knight winner page.

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Orb's full press release.