How Data Will Determine The Next President

Timothy Prescott & Andy Tanenbaum
May 26, 2016  -  Pakhuis de Zwijger

As the United States ramped up for the Presidential election, big data and social data to play an increasingly important role. Social data drove the 2008 presidential election and big data drove the 2012 election. Together with data-analyst Timothy Prescott and computer scientist Andy Tanenbaum we discussed the influence of data analytics on the 2016 election.

timothyTimothy Prescott was one of the 55 data analysts for the re-election campaign of Obama in 2012. The team used free, shared and bought data. The result: a model that recommends which potential voters to approach, and what type of conversation to start. By knowing the voters and modeling the electorate, the campaign wasted less time pounding the pavement. Just as Obama did in 2008, the campaigns changed the playing field and raised the bar for future campaigns.

andyAndy Tanenbaum is an American computer scientist and professor emeritus of computer science at the Vrije Universiteit. He is best known as the author of MINIX, the forerunner to Linux. In 2004, Tanenbaum created, which tracks state-by-state polling data to project the outcome of the presidential race. It was one of the most widely used and cited Web sites during the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, drawing 700,000 visitors a day. remains popular today for political news and data.

Moderator: Hollis Kurman

In collaboration with: Pakhuis de Zwijger


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  1. Pingback: Interview with Timothy Prescott and Andy Tanenbaum - The John Adams Institute

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