Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win

…the campaign [created] a single massive system that could merge the information collected from pollsters, fundraisers, field workers and consumer databases as well as social-media and mobile contacts with the main Democratic voter files in the swing states. The new megafile didn’t just tell the campaign how to find voters and get their attention; it also allowed the number crunchers to run tests predicting which types of people would be persuaded by certain kinds of appeals. Read more

Continue Reading

Six Provocations for Big Data

Paper by danah boyd of Microsoft Research and Kate Crawford of the University of New South Wales, presented at Oxford Internet Institute’s A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society” on September 21, 2011. Here’s a sample of two of the six provocations:

“The current ecosystem around Big Data creates a new kind of digital divide: the Big Data rich and the Big Data poor.”

“How can students be educated so that they are equally comfortable with algorithms and data analysis as well as with social analysis and theory?”

Continue Reading