Thursday, August 16, 2012

Find: Twitter revs up mTurk with Clockwork Raven

Looks handy!

Crowdsourced data analysis with Clockwork Raven

Today, we’re excited to open source Clockwork Raven, a web application that allows users to easily submit data to Mechanical Turk for manual review and then analyze that data. Clockwork Raven steps in to do what algorithms cannot: it sends your data analysis tasks to real people and gets fast, cheap and accurate results. We use Clockwork Raven to gather tens of thousands of judgments from Mechanical Turk users every week.


We’re huge fans of human evaluation at Twitter and how it can aid data analysis. In the past, we’ve used systems like Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower, as well as an internal system where we train dedicated reviewers and have them come in to our offices. However, as we scale up our usage of human evaluation, we needed a better system. This is why we built Clockwork Raven and designed it with several important goals in mind:


In Clockwork Raven, you create an evaluation by submitting a table of data (CSV or JSON). Each row of this table corresponds to a task that a human will complete. We build a template for the tasks in the Template Builder, then submit them to Mechanical Turk and Clockwork Raven tracks how many responses we’ve gotten. Once all the tasks are complete, we can import the results into Clockwork Raven where they’re presented in a configurable bar chart and can be exported to a number of data formats.

Here’s the features we’ve built into Clockwork Raven to address the goals above:

  • Clockwork Raven has a simple drag-and-drop builder not unlike the form builder in Google Docs. We can create headers and text sections, add multiple-choice and free-response questions, and insert data from a column in the uploaded data.


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