Compulsory voting changes Australia election data game_ Obama's data scientist _ ZDNet

Compulsory voting changes Australia election data game_ Obama's data scientist _ ZDNet

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8/30/13 Compulsory voting changes Australia election data game: Obama's data scientist | ZDNet www.zdnet.com/au/compulsory-voting-changes-australia-election-data-game-obamas-data-scientist-7000015910/ 1/5 (Image: CeBIT) Compulsory voting changes Australia election data game: Obama's data scientist Summary: Compulsory voting in Australia significantly changes the sort of data that would be useful for the election campaign, according to the Obama 2012 campaign's chief data scientist Rayid Ghani. By Josh Taylor | May 27, 2013 -- 21:54 GMT (14:54 PDT) Australia's population size, and the fact that voting in Australia is compulsory, makes the data required by the political campaigns for the Australian federal election significantly different to the campaigns run in the US in 2012, according the Obama 2012 campaign's chief data scientist Rayid Ghani. Ghani's role in the re-election of US President Barack Obama in 2012, as the expert on big data and analytics, has often been portrayed as one where the campaign looked at every facet of a person's life from their shopping habits, to their magazine subscriptions in order to determine how they vote. Ghani, who is in Australia for the annual CeBIT conference in Sydney, told ZDNet that this was more fantasy than reality. "The reason we didn't use a lot of that information about what magazines you buy or what car you have or what pets you own is that it is not really predictive of your voting behaviour," he said. "It wasn't that we couldn't use that data, we chose not to because it wasn't very useful. "If you're trying to predict whether someone is going to vote or not, knowing if they've voted in the past five or six elections is a lot more predictive than what car they drive." Ghani joined the campaign behind US President Barack Obama's re-election almost by chance. Ghani had been working for services giant Accenture as a senior research scientist, and while he was doing research at Accenture, in his spare time would work on social causes that were close to his heart. He decided in 2011 that he wanted to combine the two into one job.
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Compulsory voting changes Australia election data game_ Obama's data scientist _ ZDNet

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