Social Innovator Spigit Buys Business Intelligence Provider Crowdcast Social innovation, meet social business intelligence. Social innovator Spigit has acquired business intelligence provider Crowdcast, which Spigit said will help it transform innovation into “a predictable discipline with business rigor”.

Paul Pluschkell, Spigit’s Founder and CEO, said in a statement that the Crowdcast team and technology will “add a critical piece to the innovation process -- leveraging the crowd to determine the return on innovation”. Crowdcast’s patents will now become part of Spigit’s intellectual property and the Crowdcast leadership team, including founder/CEO Mat Fogarty and Chief Scientist Leslie Fine, will join the Pleasanton, California-based Spigit.

Metrics, Estimates, Portfolio

Spigit said that by incorporating the technology of the San Francisco-based Crowdcast, its social networking innovation platform will be able to forecast multiple metrics into actionable business cases, deliver verified estimates that are as good or better than analyst-created ones, and manage innovation investment as a portfolio.

Crowdcast, which was chosen as one of the most innovative companies on the planet in 2011 by the M.I.T. Tech Review, offers its SaaS platform of consulting and support services that collect social business intelligence inside a company in order to inform current and future projects.

The idea is to bridge the gap between traditional business intelligence and enterprise social network applications, combining elements of prediction markets, surveys, social networking and discussion forums in order to answer questions and make predictions about issues facing the company.

Spigit’s social networking platform also tries to mine a company’s intelligence by connecting employees, customers and business partners to generate and advance ideas using crowdsourcing, game mechanics and big data analytics.

Voting, Reputation

Using the Spigit platform, organizations create challenges that can resolve specific questions, or, alternatively, organizations offer the platform as an open forum for idea creation. In either case, ideas can be posted, commented on and voted on, with the intent of using community wisdom to push the best ideas to the top. Participants in the community earn a reputation through feedback from others and through the success of their ideas.

Approval ratings for ideas are based on pro and con votes, weighted according to each person’s reputation. Game mechanics are utilized through such techniques as leaderboards to highlight top-performing ideas and individuals, and currency, which is earned by participation in various activities and which can be redeemed in an online store. Additionally, ideas can be traded like stocks. Ideas which bubble up are then evaluated by specified experts as they advance through stages that are based on organization-configured criteria.

Terms of the Spigit/Crowdcast deal have not been disclosed.