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Big data analysis has been contributing not only to decision making in the business, health, and defense realms but also in politics. Computer experts have been helping politicians understand the public’s behavior during election campaigns. In fact, big data insights played a crucial role in the recent US elections. New details show Donald Trump’s victory was due to an innate understanding of what the American people wanted, on the basis of big data, rather than poles, according to

Cambridge Analytica uses machine-learning techniques to identify personality traits and was created specifically to work on US politics. They use data modeling and psychographic profiling to grow audiences, identify key influencers, and connect with people in ways that move them to action. The company is the US affiliate of the private British behavioral research and strategy communication company SCL Group.

The company’s head of product Matthew Oczkowski, who ran the Trump data campaign, told IBTimes UK: “We were hired to understand how a Trump voter is different from a generic Republican voter. Most modelling is done on a typical Republican versus a typical Democrat, but we knew going into the race that Trump was anything but a typical Republican nominee. He brings a very unique style [and] stance on issues, a different bravado and name ID, so we built all our modelling on who we should talk to and how we should talk to them specifically for his campaign.”

“A typical Republican is concerned about jobs and economy, national security and then the size of the government tied with taxes. But if you look at a Trump-specific voter and you isolate the ‘Trump effect’, the issue is quite different. The big issues are law and order (respect for law enforcement), immigration, and trade and wages.. Once you start to understand some basic things like this, you then understand the effect it will have on the electorate.”

He added that they understood “this election was going to be far different from 2012. [The Democrats] weren’t speaking to the right people. Hillary Clinton employed a very ‘Obama 2012’-like strategy, where all she had to do was turn out her own people and then she’d win the election..”

Working with the Trump campaign team, Cambridge Analytica’s approach became focused on how to get the disenfranchised voter to want to vote, and the data collected became honed into very specific, targeted mini-campaigns.

The company focused on paid ads on Facebook, because the social network had a huge reservoir of data on millions of users, making it possible to target ads at potential voters who were angry about certain issues.

The data firm told Trump to travel out to hold “town hall” rally speeches in various states that catered specifically to the top concern of the group he was speaking to. Even emails and door-to-door canvassing were tailored to suit the individual concerns of voters. Oczkowski argues that this approach enabled Trump’s campaign to reach people, rather than trying to rely on instinct and previous experience.

The ability to collect and analyze big data, then, can play a crucial role in important events and processes. iHLS is organizing a Big Data Fusion Conference and Exhibition on February 13th, 2017. Among the Topics discussed at the conference: Big Data Analytics for the Intelligence Mission, big data in Law Enforcement, big data integration, big data cyber security and more.