Data mining: a tool for social initiatives

  • The 2012 US presidential campaign provided a platform for the development of new voter interaction tools. The Obama campaign personnel developed two projects, Narwhal and Dreamcatcher, to capitalise on interaction with voters. The technologies mobilised the voting base and used the voter’s personal information and political preferences to fine tune the message transmitted to the voter.
  • The combination of data-mining and voter interaction can provide a basis for the development of business ventures which rely on consumer choice to select available products whilst motivating consumer purchases. However, there may be objections to the use of databases from the public.
  • This campaign illustrates the pioneering use of data mining techniques, especially in combination with social interfaces, to collect information on voter preference and create a platform for voter mobilisation. These tools require time to accumulate enough data help provide more accurate predictions.

Implications and next steps: The successful application of such techniques may provide greater insight on public demands and perceived entitlements, as well as how to achieve greater adhesion of the population to environmental initiatives.

Mother Jones:

About Joao Delgado

Joao is a Research Fellow in Futures Research and leads on medium-large scale futures projects at CERF. Amongst other projects, he has led the development of scenarios for the future of river basin management for the Environment Agency. His professional interests include veterinary science, epidemiology, risk and systems thinking.
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