Big Data Is Back!


Labor and Tory leaders in Great Britain have retained the services of senior Barack Obama campaign strategists in an effort to duplicate the data-driven success of his two victorious presidential campaigns.

According to analyst David Richards – writing for Tech City News – party leaders have come to realize “the ability to collect and analyse publically available data on a large scale allowed the Obama team to model behaviors before coordinating and targeting communications accordingly.”

This gave Obama’s campaign – which had bigger electronic and social media databases – invaluable insight into which messages were more likely to motivate people to go to the polls and cast their ballots.

“Not only did they have voters’ email address, they also had phone numbers, where they were registered to vote, a decent estimate of their household income and whether they’d opened a credit card recently,” Richards report noted.  “Obama’s camp knew how many children voters were likely to have and what they did for a living. And he knew what time of day people tended to get around to plowing through emails and respond to messages.”

Polls in Great Britain show an exceedingly tight race – with the distinct possibility of a hung parliament.  A YouGov poll found the Labor and Tory parties tied at 34 percent support, while a TNS poll had the Tories ahead by just one percentage point (well within the margin of error).

“Analytics can also make each pound work harder, with parties better able to focus on targeting the voters they need, helping limit overspending,” Richards added.  “Imagine that 10 seats will decide the election – by knowing where seats these are and what issues will sway the electorate, parties can save a fortune in terms of pound-per-vote spending.”

Will “big data” deliver the day for one party or the other?  Or will the efforts of the Obama election scientists cancel each other out?

Tory leaders enjoyed a decisive financial advantage down the homestretch, out-raising Labor by a 10-to-1 margin over the final week of the election.

Will they target those resources effectively – using “big data?”

We’ll find out soon …