Kaggle is about crowdsourcing advanced analytics talent as I blogged here
New Scientist (sub required) has a fascinating interview with Chief Scientist (and President) Jeremy Howard
"One that crops up again and again is called the random forest. This takes multiple small random samples of the data and makes a "decision tree" for each one, which branches according to the questions asked about the data. Each tree, by itself, has little predictive power. But take an "average" of all of them, and you end up with a powerful model. It's a totally black-box, brainless approach. You don't have to think - it just works.
The difference between the good participants and the bad is the information they feed to the algorithms. You have to decide what to abstract from the data. Winners of Kaggle competitions tend to be curious and creative people. They come up with a dozen totally new ways to think about the problem. The nice thing about algorithms like the random forest is that you can chuck as many crazy ideas at them as you like, and the algorithms figure out which ones work."
Photo is that of Kaggle's CTO Jeff Moser's "favorite languages". Did you expect some sports trivia or a bimbo on his profile page? :)