Predictive Analytics—it’s everywhere these days. It’s used in every flavor of business from large tech companies to sports. But how are predictive analytics useful in the political arena? What can it do? When used in the political space, predictive analytics does exactly what it does in every other area where it is used: saves time and improves the allocation of resources. One campaign manager (and fellow foodie) put it this way: Using analytics is like cooking with the ingredients already measured out for you—it makes it more fun!
What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive analytics is a beautiful blend of computer science and statistics. Utilizing this combination enables us to find patterns in a sample set of data. Those patterns can then be used to make predictions for new data. Data scientists use computer programming to apply hundreds of algorithms to a sample data set to find the formula that best fits each type of model. The models can then be appended to a voter file which in turn gives clarity on what to do for each voter.
Why do you want to use it?
Polls tell us what is going on—but only in general. It’s a recipe, but it’s only a recipe. You still have to measure out the ingredients before you can start cooking. That’s where predictive analytics comes in. We can use it to help us pinpoint precisely what is going on at an individual level. If you want to know how to best serve and how to best reach a voter, you need analytics. Predictive analytics uses messaging models to find the best message for each voter, helping you change minds. It uses turnout models to predict who is most likely or least likely to show up on E-day. It can even help you determine the best avenue of communication (internet, cable, broadcast) to reach out to voters. Save time, reach voters, change minds—use predictive analytics. Now you’re cooking with gas!