NEWS14 January 2014

Can digital analytics trump The X Factor?

Data analytics News UK

UK — Sometimes The X Factor just isn’t enough – Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment company is looking for digital analytics solutions to help solve a talent scouting challenge.


Syco is one of nine companies taking part in an innovation challenge, organised by IC tomorrow, which is part of the government-funded Technology Strategy Board.

A total of £225,000 is up for grabs, split across nine challenges, with a maximum of £25,000 going to each of the nine winning companies.

There are three analytics challenges in all:

Syco’s, which “seeks tools, applications and services which can help to automate the process of spotting new talent and buzz online. While there will always be a need for human judgement to be the ultimate arbiter, digital can play a role in helping those wanting to find new talent to narrow the field of choice”.

Penguin Random House, which “seeks ways in which publishers can gain more direct information and analytics about how their eBook content is being consumed digitally”.

And BFI, which “seeks to explore how cinemas can digitally connect with physical audiences to help enhance the cinema experience and also better understand their audience. Applications can include technologies such as radio-frequency identification, near field communications, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi”.

Other participating companies including Argos, Procter & Gamble and Holition in the retail category, and LIFT, Live Nation and The Barbican in events.

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: “This competition is an exciting opportunity for start-ups looking to see their ideas come to life. Our main objective is to pair today’s burgeoning tech-talent with established businesses and organisations so they can share insights on adapting to, and making the most of, a continuously developing digital economy.”

As well as the funding, the nine winning SMEs will retain all of their IP and be invited to work alongside the participating businesses to implement their solutions.

Full details are online here.

The deadline for applications is 26 February.