JERSEY CITY, N.J., Oct. 12, 2011 — Opera Solutions, LLC (www.operasolutions.com), a global leader in machine-learning science and advanced Big Data analytics, today announced the fourth annual Opera Open, a competition in which Opera employees develop innovative ideas to create new products and applications based on Opera's advanced analytics and technology. Company employees will be competing for over $100,000 in prizes, including a $50,000 first prize.
"One of the things that makes Opera one of the leading Big Data analytics firms is that we have great people with great ideas and energy," said Arnab Gupta, CEO and Founder of Opera Solutions. "The Open unleashes their capabilities on projects of their own choosing, providing a forum for our people, particularly our more junior staff, to showcase their intellect, business acumen, and creativity." He added, "This is more than just an interesting internal exercise -- these ideas have a track record of turning into real business opportunities for our company."
Concepts presented during in the last four competitions have led to new products and solutions in a number of different areas: text analytics, performance assessment for teachers and students, collection enhancement, and analytics supporting philanthropic organizations' activities. One idea paved the way for an attrition prediction assignment with a major online dating service.
The competition is open to junior employees and excludes members of senior management who are, however, expected to mentor teams and provide other support. It is judged by a panel comprised of Opera's senior management as well as external experts, including principals at premier private equity and venture capital firms, some of the leading machine learning scientists in the world, and business leaders.
Since the first competition in 2008, the Opera Open has given employees an outlet to apply Opera's analytics, technology, and machine-learning capabilities to new areas. It provides them with a means to obtain senior management's feedback, collaborate with their peers, hone their communications skills, and foster their growth. It also provides significant financial reward for the winners. This year, prizes are $50,000 for first place, $20,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third place. Additional prizes will be awarded to other teams in the competition.
"We are a company that grows and thrives on the strength of our ideas," declared Mr. Gupta. "We are proud to provide an environment that allows so many great ideas to surface and be rewarded."