Welcome!

Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Apache, SDN Journal

@BigDataExpo: Article

Big Data and Politics: Influencing Both Sides of the Aisle

Seven political tactics inspired by Big Data

Data has always had a place in politics. Politicians have relied on polls, voter interests and demographics for years. In 2008, the Obama campaign was recognized for its data-driven campaign, but it wasn’t until the 2012 election, when the tools became available, that big data was used to target voters and win a presidential election using methods that had never been used before.

Much like businesses, political parties have collected a lot of data over the years, but that data has been siloed into various categories: donations, website visits, social media comments. While each of these categories are useful, the ability to combine and analyze all of this data together creates new opportunities to target each individual voter, but until recently it was much too costly to do so. Now with the creation of Hadoop and Hadoop as a Service vendors, big data is being used by both parties to influence state and national elections alike.

Using big data starts with having a data collection and analysis tool. For the democrats that is the Voter Activation Network that they used in the last few election cycles. Republicans started later in the game and are yet to come up with a solution universal to the party, but an influential group in Texas has developed RVotes as its own voter database and outreach tool. Of course, when it comes down to it, it’s not about collecting data but using it in a meaningful way, so let’s take a look at some tactics made possible by by big data.

1. The Mini Donation
One clever tactic the Obama campaign used was running TV ads asking for a mini donation of $10. While this may have appeared as grassroots fundraising or some kind of PR stunt, the goal of the ads was actually to collect cell phone data. In order to donate, viewers were asked to text GIVE to the campaign’s number. Once all of those donors’ numbers were collected, they could be sent additional campaign messages that the campaign knew could be targeted directly toward Obama supporters.

2. Smart Canvassing
Canvassing is not a particularly new or high-tech political tactic, but knowing exactly what a person’s political views or most important interests are is. There is a mobile app available that volunteers can use to access just that kind of information while canvassing, so they can be better prepared before knocking on the door. The app also allows volunteers to enter in information, such as whether the person was familiar with the candidate and whether they were likely to vote for a candidate along with any other useful information that could later be used in get-out-the-vote efforts.

3. Targeted Ads
Most of us have probably noticed the difference in political ads the last couple of elections. Rather than seeing a good mix of ads from both parties, it seemed like certain ads followed us around no matter which site we visited. That is because campaigns were using big data to target ads based on a person’s likelihood to vote for a particular candidate as well as issues pertinent for them. For example, running ads about decreasing the cost of health insurance specifically to those who are uninsured.

4. Grassroots Approach
A major shift created by big data is that communication is no longer about the number of TV ads you run, but rather how many neighborhoods and voter groups you reach. Big data has provided the resources to return to grassroots politics en masse. For example, political groups collect information on which issues are important to particular neighborhoods and then ask for votes by focusing on those issues.

5. Smart Fundraising
Fundraising is critical to the success of any campaign, so naturally campaigns are using big data to draw in more donations as well. The Maryland Republican Party, for example, used data analytics to determine how likely an individual was to donate as well as the amount they could donate based on wealth to arrive $17,000 ahead of its fundraising schedule.

6. Public Sentiment Measurement
Polls are biased and often give a poor view of which way the vote is really going to go. Online behavior, on the other hand, can give a much better idea of what people are really thinking. Campaigns have started analyzing twitter, online comments and other activities to determine which candidate that voter is more likely to support.

7. Interpreting Constituent Behavior
Finally, determining what causes a party loyalist to switch over to another party can be particularly useful for a minority party or a presidential candidate campaigning in swing states. The Obama campaign used big data to create a rating system to predict how each voter was likely to behave. The four indicators included likelihood of supporting Obama, likelihood of voting, likelihood to be influenced by reminders to vote and, in the case of non-supporters, likelihood to change their mind based on a particular issue.

With its success rate so far, big data will become increasingly influential in the political arena as tactics become even more sophisticated and targeted, but it’s long-term effects are yet to be determined. How do you see big data affecting politics in the long term?

More Stories By Gil Allouche

Gil Allouche is the Vice President of Marketing at Qubole. Most recently Sr. Director of Marketing for Karmasphere, a leading Big Data Analytics company offering SQL access to Apache Hadoop, where he managed all marketing functions, Gil brings a keen understanding of the Big Data target market and its technologies and buyers. Prior to Karmasphere, Gil was a product marketing manager and general manager for the TIBCO Silver Spotfire SaaS offering where he developed and executed go-to-market plans that increased growth by 600 percent in just 18 months. Gil also co-founded 1Yell, a social media ad network company. Gil began his marketing career as a product strategist at SAP while earning his MBA at Babson College and is a former software engineer.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.