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Big Data And The 2016 Election Posted on Aug 08 - 2016

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If you believe in Big Data analytics, it’s time to begin planning for a Hillary Clinton presidency and all that entails.

In recent years, political data analytics has advanced from simple micro targeting to true predictive data science, and the track record is good. Some of the brightest minds in the field are using massive amounts of data, complex models and advanced algorithms to determine the best way to appeal to big swathes of the electorate without alienating possible converts. They could just as easily be working to optimize the design of jet engine components or a factory floor dominated by robots. It’s all about understanding likely outcomes given multiple variables.

The potential of big data in politics grew out of the Obama 2008 campaign. With the ground-breaking work of Bush 2004 as a guide, a group of young Silicon Valley recruits used data to push targeting and fundraising to the extreme. By the time Obama 2012 swung into action, the team had grown to 54 and its influence spread through the campaign. Matt Dover was part of that; so, too, was Elan Kriegel. Today both hold prominent positions in data analytics at Hillary Clinton 2016.

While the public polling has been close, the data crunchers are quietly confident in a different narrative. Occasionally that confidence is on full display through operatives like David Plouffe, who is predicting a Trump walloping. Other times the proof is more subtle.

Despite the perceived tightness of the race, the Clinton campaign is not doubling down on its liberal base. It selected Virginia moderate Tim Kaine for vice president, bypassing liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. And the recent convention seemed bent on reaching out to disaffected Republicans and center-right moderates with themes of country, service and faith. The Clinton campaign believes the data shows these motifs can help it run up a big victory in November.

The Trump campaign has largely eschewed data analytics, preferring to run a campaign focused primarily on exposure of the candidate via free media such as Twitter and cable television. It appears to have eschewed major hires in the analytics industry, relying mostly on efforts cobbled together by the Republican party apparatus.

If Clinton does win, we should expect renewed attention on Big Data firms like Splunk and Teradata, to name a couple.

Whether on the campaign trail or on the battlefield, data analytics is one of the most important advancement in technology right now, along with the cloud and mobile. Using optimization and vast computer power, data scientists are able to sculpt outcomes with accuracy, whether it’s getting people to buy breakfast cereal or medicine, or vote for candidates. The campaign that leverages data intensively and trusts the results the most will enjoy a significant edge. So far, that’s Clinton. Source

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