Big data could help win the next Presidential election

Posted by Justin Hesser on July 1, 2013

We may be three years away from election season, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about the next President of the United States. More importantly, it's a good time to think about how the election will be covered, analyzed, predicted and ultimately won. Now more than ever, big data analytics will be a driving force behind elections . 

During the 2008 and 2012 elections , Nate Silver became a household name due to his ability to predict the outcome of the Presidential election with incredible accuracy. The professional statistician used a number of big data formulas to correctly project how each state would vote en route to Barack Obama's victory. While data played a massive role on the media side of the election, the politicians themselves were implementing their own strategies to gain an edge over their opponent.

In 2008, President Obama was praised for his innovative use of social media to fuel his campaign efforts. It helped him reach a new demographic of voters and some analysts say it may have proved to be the difference in the election. In 2012, Obama took his social media strategy to a new level, according to a report from All Things D, by implementing a big data strategy based off of his social information.

Now the news source is predicting that social media and big data strategies will become standard procedure for all candidates, and that the 2016 election could be won by whoever best leverages information. Gurbaksh Chahal, the CEO of intelligent advertising firm RadiumOne and author of the article, suggests that this is the same approach modern marketers take and that campaign managers and other political professionals who successfully emulate that tactic will, more often than not, ultimately represent the winning candidate.

"Social data is fundamentally changing how advertisers approach the art of marketing," he writes. "Now, we can track pretty much anything online—our campaign decisions are influenced by factors that extend far beyond the impression and conversion metrics that permeated the ad industry just five years ago. This data-centric shift in advertising has enabled political parties to hone campaign approaches toward predicting outcomes and undeniably, it is this elegant blend of social data, big data, and targeting that will determine the 2016 commander-in-chief."

These methods will likely become more refined as they become more popular. As more politicians, in addition to a greater number of marketers, see the results of these actions, it's likely that these strategies will only increase in popularity.

Of course, it should be noted that organizations and individuals that lack sufficient means to collect, manage and report on their data will not be as successful with this effort. The key to success in any big data strategy is the ability to effectively view information in real time. Politicians who are able to use a custom database software system to extract pertinent data from social media and other sources and use it as part of their campaign strategies will be more successful on election day. The same concept, when followed by marketers, can help companies improve their sales figures and overall profitability.

FileMaker development is an ideal way to make the best possible database systems for information management.