Sunday, November 25, 2012

Data Predetermined the Real Winner in the Latest US Election

I along with the rest of the world were held hostage by the American election cycle for the past few months, if not the past year. Personally I cannot let the 70 billion dollar election expenditures go by without at least a bit of commentary – the campaign budgets make the auto bailout look like a shrimp cocktail and they can't even say they saved any jobs in Ohio! From where I sit politically, it all ended exactly where it started 24 months ago, less 70 billion, EXCEPT for one big difference: The Obama campaign broke the mould in data harvesting and changed the game permanently.

The world was fascinated as CNN's John King dissected all the voting patterns and historical data at the large touch screen. He made the results look logical and hinted very early in the evening that it was going to be an Obama victory. No question, the demographics of the Obama victory were interesting, but what was even more intruiguing was how the Romney campaign got  completely blindsided. What happened?? Data mining is what happened. Time magazine broke the “inside story” of a group in the Chicago Obama headquarters that revolutionized data harvesting:

A group of PHDs and scientists (that were kept entirely separate from the regular campaign staff) began working nearly four years ago on the data management issues they encountered during the 2008 campaign. The first Obama campaign was lauded for its revolutionary use of social media to get the youth vote. This time around the Democrats built an incredible database of information to form the most sophisticated data mining model ever used in politics or most likely in any other organization. The use of data is how Romney got blindsided. Read the article, it was amazing how they used the data to fundraise and get people out to vote.

In one of their quarterly publications McKinsey also wrote about the importance of data mining and its powerful future:

In addition, a relatively new extremely creative entrepreneurial firm called Price Metrix has revolutionized how the the world manages their investment advisors. With this article they explain why you should seriously worry you if you are not on this data directed train:

You see it's politics, businesses and probably more industries than you can even think about that are harnessing the value of data to make critical decisions. This has been going on in the sports world for ages and now technology has allowed everyone to harness its power.

So my question to you is, "are you capitalizing on all the data that is available to you at the workplace??"

Or do you have client information scattered about in different databases that should be consolidated (that was one of the big tasks of the Obama brain trust)?

Are you paying too many different sources to provide the same information (that is why the Bloomberg terminal became so popular in the cost cutting 1990s)??

Do you have managers who comprehend the new world dynamics and how to harness the data to understand what is really going on out there? Or are you stuck in the old horse and buggy decision making process that has sent many a businesses slowly move along the curve of extinction?

Technology is and will be the ultimate disrupter,  spreading its influence into every aspect of our lives. Apple, Google, Facebook and YouTube have being doing it for years. But you thought it was just about social media. Wrong, it's all about the data, who has it, what do they do with it and what does it mean for you.

Take heed everyone, the future is here and there is nowhere to hide. If you are not taking advantage of the data, your competitors will! Just ask Mitt and the Republican Party, since they and everyone else had no warning of the tsunami that hit them on election night. Strike yet another victory for technology!

What side of the disrupter world do you reside in? Are u the disrupter or the one being being dirsrupted??

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