Of all the winners announced this week for the 63rd annual George Polk Award, California Watch’s “Decoding Prime” series is the one that catches my eye.

California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, is only in its third year of existence after launching in 2009. The organization is joined by long-established names on the winners list like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, ABC 20/20, Bloomberg and The Associated Press.

So how does one brand new organization compete with years of legacy? To start, try  51 million patient records — about 28 gigabytes of raw data. That’s how much information was analyzed for the yearlong series of investigative stories that revealed a pattern at a California-based hospital chain of billing Medicare for numerous rare medical conditions for high-paying bonuses. Read more