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Monday, November 26, 2012

The challenge to continue taking advantage of the 'Math Men' of Obama

The campaign for the election of Barack Obama was an example of mathematical use of a data universe of potential voters and how this information applies to the electoral strategy, an experience that is expected to be very useful to the Democratic Party and that companies could learn. Jim Messina, the chief strategist of the Obama campaign, said this week, in his first press conference after the election, the important thing to achieve re-election was the "door to door" and contact with a base of supporters and neighbors in certain districts or counties. The political strategist acknowledged that, for it, it took a powerful digital engine and information analysis to classify and identify voters, in what areas , should be mobilized to regain the presidency of the United States. Messina recalled the advice he gave the president of Google, Eric Schmidt: "You do not need politicians need the smart people are going to draw what you want and they will go to build." And what they created was a structure set up for the campaign of 2008 and improved in 2012, that was based not on advertising experts or political marketing, popularized for decades as the 'Mad Men', but young mathematicians , programmers , experts in social media to now has been given the name 'Math Men'. Andrew Ferguson, of 26 years , a student at Brown University doctorate in the field of software for data analysis, says that "what the Obama campaign has done is apply Internet to collect large amounts of information, put it together and cross with software linking seemingly unrelated variables before ". "What is interesting about the Obama campaign is the large number of sources used, and that Internet and the expansion of social networks has been vital, "said Ferguson, who works for a group of Princeton University who happened the outcome of the elections with its own set of data analysis. For example, computer experts from the headquarters of Obama managed to pool databases voter registration, county undecided, the frequency of its donors gave money or if they did a particular candidate profile more or less moderate. The donor or supporter They provided their data and receive personalized messages that invited them to get involved in the campaign and talk to your neighbors "door to door". "Every email they had just received had been checked many times, "Messina added, ensuring that before the elections had a clear picture of how key states were leaning through your system. The so-called "data-mining" grossed over 13 million emails in 2008, a number that has increased in recent years and has been supplemented with addresses, telephone numbers, information and preferences on friends Facebook and even favorite television series. "The Obama campaign has been a valuable lesson for companies or organizations to promote themselves, combining information, identifying patterns and adjusting the test message in strategic parts of the population, "said Ferguson. The new part of this process is: what to do now with all this information once you have achieved the goal of reelection?, something that experts are curious once the second term. "We built a campaign that made ​​people want to be involved and volunteer," says Messina, which could help the complicated Obama's new mandate, which is facing another fiscal reform and immigration. Messina commitment to maintain communication with their vast network during the second presidency, for which recently sent a survey asking members of these networks to determine what policies they seemed more important for the future. The information will probably end up transferred to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which could use it to mobilize the population during the debate on certain policies in Congress. Severinghau Erik founder SimpleRelevance, a company dedicated to exploring new ways of digital communication, wrote in an article in Forbes that Obama's campaign was able to do and must continue to do is "maintain regular communication, customize the message to make it relevant the receiver and continue checking the strategy."

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