MRF And The Lincoln Initiative


Last week in San Francisco, Market Research Foundation (MRF) was a sponsor of the Lincoln Initiative‘s annual “Reboot” conference.

Billed as a gathering of “top influencers from diverse industries – civic tech founders, engineers and designers, politicos, corporate tech, foundation executives, angel investors and serial entrepreneurs,” this year’s event did not disappoint.

Title sponsor i360 – a top data analytics firm – was well-represented, as were co-sponsors ComScore, Google Elections, Microsoft and Facebook.

MRF’s chief operating officer Ray Wotring was a speaker at the event.

“After the 2012 election, a group of donors asked our Chairman Bill Wilson, and myself, to complete an assessment on the state of data and technology on the right,” Wotring told attendees. “As most can expect, the assessment was bleak. Some tools did exist; however the emphasis was placed on the paint. Little to not thought was placed into data architecture; or how to effectively manipulate data; especially in down ballot races.”

The result?

“Most candidates were shooting in the dark,” Wotring said.

“As a follow-up we spent time with a company which focuses on custom data solutions for the logistics operations of fortune 50 corporations,” Wotring continued. “Together we reviewed our findings; along with the basic needs of the political sector; and determined that sufficient business intelligence tools did exist for the political space.”

Wotring then walked attendees through MRF’s efforts to develop training programs for operatives – programs educating them on the use of social science and predictive analytics in the electoral realm.

“MRF’s goal is simple; to change the way political campaigns are done by teaching the next generation of consultants how to use data driven strategies, have the know-how to be involved in managing these data driven strategies and integrate them into the rest of the campaign and effectively be able to evaluate vendors offering a magic black box solution.”