Thursday, November 26, 2009

Data analysis in a presidential campaign

Posted by Danny Tarlow
Here's a good video by Dan Siroker about how the Obama campaign used data analysis and web analytics in the 2008 campaign. It might be a stretch to say that data won the campaign, but it sure didn't hurt to be doing lots of interesting stuff with it.

He does a good job driving home how valuable it is to always be defining and measuring relevant performance indicators and to do it automatically and quantitatively. It's easy to say you're going to measure and keep on top of the indicators, but it's much harder to pull it off in a clean, focused way, especially as you get more and more data from more and more sources. The campaign did a great job of it, though, and in my (not unique) opinon, this gave a huge leg up. His points also apply to his startup, (which you should go try!).

My favorite part of the video? 43:30, because I think that almost counts as a "shout out" (I spent a little time working with the analytics team and fall somewhere between "friends from college" and "PhDs in computer science that happened to walk through the door").

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