Big Data in Politics: How Did We Get Here & Where Are We Going?

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Information about Big Data in Politics: How Did We Get Here & Where Are We Going?
News & Politics

Published on March 8, 2014

Author: epolitics



Big data is transforming politics, creating new opportunities to contact individual voters with messages specifically designed to motivate them in particular. How did we get here? How does data-driven voter targeting work? What are the implications for democracy?

Big Data in Politics: How Did We Get Here & Where Are We Going? Colin Delany, March 6, 2014

Colin Delany  Former political staffer (Texas)  Founder/editor   Online communications consultant Political advocate

Colin Delany Ebook author: “How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014” Columnist for Campaigns & Elections Magazine Contributing Editor, Digital Politics Radio

Political Data: History [We've been using data w/o knowing it]  1970's/80's – direct mail, phones  2002/2004: Republican microtargeting  2006: Catalist founded (Dems)  2008 Obama: grassroots & online  2008-2012: cookie targeting & other new tech  2012 Obama:data integration, TV targeting  2013: Dems take down-ballot  2014: Parabellum Labs, Dem national rollout

Political Data: Essentials Essential political data tools:  Voter file  Data manipulation software  Voter models  Ways to put data into action NOTE: commercial marketers are way ahead of political marketers

Political Data: Essentials What you can do with data  Overall: target communications  Online advertising  Field organizing/canvassing  Direct mail/TV In theory, data lets you hit the right person with the right message at the right time. 

Political Data: Essentials Key concept: data = listening

Political Data: Essentials Data sources:  Voter file  Commercial data  Field data (canvassing, phone bank responses) Behavioral data (history of interactions with the campaign)   Online behavior

Political Data: Limits Limits on political data:  Legal framework  Data quality  Infrequency of voting = small data set  Match rates  Diminishing marginal returns  Need for niche content

Political Data & Democracy Is political data good or bad for democracy?  Does it have a corrosive effect?  Is it manipulative?  Or, could it lead to a more-engaged electorate?

Thank You Colin Delany @epolitics +1 202 422 4682

Big Data: la nueva tendencia para conocer al elector Bruce Willsie, Labels & Lists Chris Wegrzyn, Blue Labs, @wegbert Matt McMillan, Buzzmaker, @wearebuzzmaker Colin Delany,, @epolitics (moderator) Hashtag: #VAC14

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