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The Analytics of Elections

On: November 16th, 2012 in Analytics by Rohan Rodrigues

The recent presidential elections that just concluded in the USA are an excellent example of how advanced analytics has been used to get the right results. Even though the Democrats were working apparently with a much smaller budget (thanks to the funding by the big guys to the Republican cause) they produced a stellar performance. In a recent article that was published in the Time magazine the author mentions that the Democrats also raised close a billion dollars for their election campaign to match the funding power that the Republicans so vehemently publicised.

If you analyze the Democratic campaign closely it resembles closely to an enterprise in the FMCG sector apart from the fund raising part which is akin to that of an NGO. The strategy was about identifying those people who were on the edge in terms of their preference and then finding out the best way to influence them to jump over and not only vote but donate too. Discussions and stories about the campaign also go on to describe the kind of data analytics that was done starting right from creating the right database to connecting the dots across messaging and influence. One interesting aspect that I personally liked is about how the analyst identified the right kind of people the president needed to socialise with during the fund raising to woo the right kind of people with the right kind of money.

Advanced analytics is all about getting a different perspective to a situation and then using optimal resources to derive high returns. Is that not what all business leaders crave for? This election is a great example for business leaders and enterprises to understand the power of analytics and how it can drive, if not guarantee success. With the competitive landscape changing faster with the advancement of technology it is going to be techniques like these that are going to help organisations sustain successes over time. For all those out there like me who are trying to convince businesses to adopt advanced analytics this election is a blessing in disguise.