The success of Obama’s election campaign in 2012 and its use of technology in producing an innovative and engaging campaign have had global ramifications. This campaign was characterized by its ability to capture and record the voting public’s data to deliver targeted messages to specific voters. These US elections are widely considered to be a watershed moment for big data campaigning.
As has been mentioned in previous posts, campaigns regardless of size need to log voter contact and have a point person willing to take the lead to turn that data into information.
But from a day-to-day point of view what does this position look like?
Either this is a campaign staffer logging voter contact with a spreadsheet (Please STOP!!) or checking insights and impressions from Facebook/Twitter/Google Analytics. There needs to be a go to person with the metrics i.e. how many supporters did we meet daily/weekly/monthly. The need for instant and measurable success is a key tactic for winning campaigns.
But is this actually needed for a full time role within a campaign setting? Yes. This critical role is the heartbeat of the campaign. To create repeatable and scalable processes, the comms manager, and canvass co-ordinator will need to be in constant contact with this position regularly.
The data manager oversees data management, data organization, and helps produce the metrics and models political staff will need to make smarter decisions.
As technology becomes increasingly more open and communication channels personalized, a data-specific position will be a necessity for future political campaigns.