Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters.
In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and I reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK.
We agree that unlike last time, Labour did better than the Conservatives digitally at this election. In combining doorstep campaigning with digital targeting in marginal seats (based on the insights from their proprietary software) and generally being on the ball with issues online, Labour managed to connect the dots more successfully than the Conservatives.
This Amazon- or Netflix-style micro-targeting is seen by some as a ‘dark art’. But as Sam points out, we never see the mechanics of what happens in advertising and marketing.
Continue reading “10: UK general election, micro-targeting voters and getting the right data”
News is neither a fixed nor a finite entity. There are some periods in history when it feels like there’s just more happening than at others.
I’m not talking about the Dark Ages (which suffered a blackout from not just newscasters but also historiographers). I’m talking about periods in one’s life in the early 21st century when it feels as if there’s more going on globally and geopolitically than at others.
Now of course, the growth of social media, driven by the democratisation of mobile technology and the explosion in smartphones in particular, has had a profound impact on the way that news is gathered, shared, and amplified.
Today, anyone with a smartphone and a decent 4G or WiFi connection, can become a citizen journalist, blogger, or vlogger. But the mere presence and widespread availability of technology and means of data transmission cannot – in and of themselves – create more news.
Continue reading “09: Back to the future or fast forward to a new normal?”
Our latest Small Data Forum podcast focuses on recent surprise political outcomes and the mechanisms at play: the psychology of predictions, the new phenomenon of fake news, echo chamber effects and the way data was analysed and interpreted.
Recent expressions of democratic political will – the UK referendum on EU membership, the US presidential election – have surprised most observers and commentators.
Both outcomes, ie Brexit and Trump, were not what most of the polling data indicated. This episode of the Small Data Forum is asking whether we should and could have seen this coming.
Continue reading “04: Brexit, Trump and the challenge of better forecasting with better data”