No surprise that this past election, campaigns took advantage of big data AND they also took advantage of the growing awareness of persuasion techniques and incentives that fall under the umbrella of Behavioral Economics…both topics we discussed in the past few months.
Nate Silver, and his 538 blog seems to have become an even greater rock star recently. By applying his deeper understanding of probability and statistics , he successfully predicted the election outcome well in advance of poll openings.
Today’s New York Times carried an interesting story about the unofficial influence of Academics with expertise on Influence. I urge you to read the behind the scenes story Academic dream Team that Helped Obama’s effort.
Not to be undone, TIME magazine got to the real team working inside the Obama campaign to get the details. After the election they were free to publish the following story:
If business needs further evidence that real time analysis of integrated data delivers value, the lessons learned during the election offers some great insights. The precedents set by this new database and the quants analyzing it, suggests additional opportunities to make change that goes down more smoothly, like Mary Poppins advised using her spoonful of sugar. Good or bad, the reality is that big data made a big difference in this election and on the persuasive front appears to have been effective in delivering the most relevant messages to individuals. Hard to believe that general broad-based appeals such as bill boards and television advertisements will continue to call for high level resource investments. Then again, that’s another story I’m sure.
I haven’t seen all the articles out there but more are bound to follow. We will do our best to revisit these topics again in 2013.