Nate Silver, who ran forecasts for the Five Thirty Eight blog, called the 2012 Presidential Election right.

The #datascience crew tweeted #mathwins

Nate mixed a lot of time tested methods and ported a novel one over into political science. He talked about the future. He demonstrated the power of predictive analytics.

He accomplished a lot.

And he did a lot for predictive analytics. I thank for him for that. He took a good risk with his career and with analytics more generally. He won. Pundits lost. And, he’s totally getting laid today.

Nate’s work was a beautiful piece of predictive analytics, and, had more work was done in D3 and productization, it would have qualified as full on #datascience. The application of Bayes to polling and projections isn’t #bigdata[1]. It’s certainly smart data. It’s certainly analytics.

What happened on the ground, how Obama got high margins where it mattered, and how he carried each state narrowly, is the subject of #datascience and maybe #bigdata meeting operations research (Also called OR, or more broadly, when combined with management science – ORMS). A lot of work went into that ground game. I hope that the data set(s) are shared, and I’m looking forward to reading a bonanza of ORMS papers on how this was done. Later, it’ll be up to the new whiz kids to translate that into business results.

Nate should feel good today.

[1] The term #bigdata was always going to be overloaded to point where it means “INSIGHTS!” or is just another term of dashboard. I’m mournful that the honeymoon is over, and, we’ll have to find a new word to replace the original meaning of what #bigdata meant. It was nice while it lasted.


I’m Christopher Berry
I’m a data scientist at Authintic