How Big Data helped Obama win US Presidential Election 2012 ?

You may have seen the movie MoneyBall where in a baseball team that is running short of revenue could not compete with other teams that has overflowing capital.Brad Pitt being the under dog team’s coach work along with a statistician who provides valuable insights by means of data and statistics as to which combination of  players when purchased could help them in winning  matches.

And in the end,the underdog team triumphs.This is based on a true story and shows the power of data – Big data and how when synthesized well could prove to be a crucial factor to winning games.

Meteoric Rise of Big Data

The same happened this year in  US Presidential Elections as well. Obama’s campaigning team made a significant investment in collecting electoral voters information that help them target campaign , raise funds for running the campaign,even talk to voters through people they already know to urge and vote for Obama. This article provides some fascinating insights as to how the campaigning team were able to synthesize data collected over period of time , run complex algorithm to determine the possible outcome of the election.

It is quite staggering the amount of technology , data mining combined with statistics that helped Obama’s team to successfully woo the voters for their party.There are Data Scientists and statisticians who were hired for the purpose of analyzing voters’ preference and make tangible changes to the campaigning plan based on the outcome of periodic data sets . Quite fascinating to see the level of technology used in Elections these days.

Emergence of RockStar , Nate Sliver

It is not just Obama’s team that used Big Data. Nate Sliver is the rock star  – a blogger,statistician popular earlier in the sports arena for devising strategy that helped baseball team win matches. He became recently involved in predicting electoral results and through his analysis has hit bull’s-eye. In last two elections in 2008 and now 2012 ,he predicted that Obama would win the election by means of proper statistical data through his blog. His independent blog became so popular that New York Times partnered with him and he began writing for New York Times.

Instances like this stress the importance of data mining and in the days to come ,Data Scientist could become a very attractive  career option.

In my previous blog about Gartner’s prediction on Hype cycle , Big Data was regarded as one of the fastest growing facet of technology with its incredible capability to do data crunching. No wonder we are seeing the results in 2012 itself as to what Big Data could mean for corporates in the days to come.

I wish the technology used by Obama’s team to win elections be extended to get policies and infrastructure implemented  that can help the people of US of A in the days to come.

Big Data along with Obama has arrived big time !


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