With less than one month to go until 2016’s US Presidential Election, the impact of accessing and utilising data insights on securing a competitive political advantage is about to be thrust firmly into the limelight. Traditional political campaigns have historically been founded on assumptions, based on ambiguous information and media spin. However in 2012 everything changed, when Obama used more than 100 data analysts to run hundreds of thousands of computer simulations each day, to measure every aspect of his political campaign.
Following suit in 2016 Hilary Clinton’s campaign activities suggests that she is heavily utilising big data analytics in the US Presidential Election. Helping her team make decisions on who’s doors to knock on and who to contact by phone, her specific data analytics strategy remains shrouded in secrecy, but having hired ‘Data Nerds’ for her analytics team and engaged with analytics companies we know there is much work going on here behind the scenes, enabling her to listen to and effectively target her constituents.
Donald Trump’s campaign in contrast has shunned data analytics when compared to Clintons. He has been quoted as banning data and modelling totally from his campaign, believing the concept of data access and analytics to be overrated. His campaign is relying far more heavily on other media types such as Cable Television and publicity on social media site Twitter, through which he is estimated to have gained billions of dollars of free advertising.
It remains to be seen if this approach will secure Donald the Presidency… BUT – if Clinton’s campaign is propelled to success by her use of firms like Splunk and Teradata, the unquestionable importance of big data analytics on securing political advantage will be proven again come November 8th.