Yes, we now all know that President Obama crushed Mitt Romney, winning by a huge margin of victory in the electoral college as well as winning the popular vote. Some people had predicted this significant (landslide) victory (we did, two months ago).
We suggested that a shift of demographics in America resulted in the white, middle class, Christian male being less influential (this trend will continue dramatically in the future). We also highlighted the role of technology in fact checking and cutting through political rhetoric. Paradoxically, as more and more money is spent to flood the media with political messages, the impact is significantly less, as people don’t rely on one news source. Google refer to it as the “four screen” world (TV, laptop, tablet and phone, all use in tandem for everything in our lives).
America is also undergoing a structural and institutional change, which is affecting which industries contribute most, where jobs are created (and HOW they are created), and how wealth is built. We believe that voters (especially younger ones, who are inordinately affected by these shifts) have a sense of this long term trend and structural change, and that they have grown weary of short-termism in their leaders.
Election night was also a triumph for the nerds and big data. At TomorrowToday, we are big advocates of the power we are developing to “know everything”, and work hard to understand how this new era will affect our clients. We have recently partnered with a world expert in this area, Keith Holdt. Another believer in the power of data is Nate Silver, who has made a legend for himself by calling the election decisively for Obama for a few weeks, based on genuine number crunching, and in the face of overwhelming fury from the right wing media.
Nate is the author of Amazon best-selling book, “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction“. In the days leading up to the election, he was on every major media show, explaining how a detailed analysis of huge amounts of data, dredged from many different sources, enabled him and his team to predict with a fair degree of confidence what would happen district by district in the US elections (see his appearance, for example, on Stephen Colbert’s show, reported by the LA Times). He was pretty much spot on.
And now it has been revealed that President Obama had his own team of data crunchers working in the back office for his campaign. This story is REALLY worth reading.
The question for you and your business is simple: what are you doing with data?
- Do you have enough data, from the right sources?
- Is all your data consolidated in one place, so that it can be properly used, analysed and interrogated?
- Do you have the right people working on your data? You need data detectives who can make sense of the data, look for patterns, and recommend real world responses.
- Are you objective? How do you know?
- Do you trust the data? Are you sure?