DailyPost 2518

Data is the new oil, is more than a truism in today’s age. Data has created companies which have left behind all the predecessors by miles. Data will define the world for all times to come now and AI would keep adding the spark to it, it is and will remain the new electricity. But there is a class which uses data and by its extension technology differently and has been doing so for quite sometime now. The data is different and so is its processing and usage. There is whole ecosystem which has been built around it and all stakeholders doing exceedingly well in our robust democracy.

Cambridge Analytica – Facebook data scandal proved to the world what politicians can best use data for. A political consulting firm having with its fold the finest Artificial Intelligence scientists was used for a purpose, way beyond what we could even imagine of. To wreck elections in a very sophisticated manner. Election for them was a battle between hope and despair, and that is where the moolah came from. This was needed to be created for the voter. Here in our own robust democracy, data has differently enabled our political class. They barely know any other data, but data pertaining to elections, in every way, and it has become their forte.

They know how to source, define business logic, process and put to best use they can, certainly better that the best of the administrative / governance tasks they would have ever performed in their lives. We can start with voters’ data, their break up, caste data – vote bank etc. The first is the integrity of data, they ensure it as they know the art of physical reconciliation. They have perfected the data on polling- votes cast, percentages, patterns and combinations even historically. The business logic they come up with can put you at your wits end. It throws up the best of the reports. Another out of the world output is a dynamic dashboard, that put in life into any political creature or party.

Country’s polling booths are mapped by the parties and resource map is created over it. Data based SWOT analysis is their daily rigmarole. The conduct their regular surveys, so the they don’t miss out the pulse of the people. Which political leader carries what value is also derived through a variety of formulas. Digital marketing adds a new data tinge to the exercise of banner, public meetings, roadshows, liquor and cash rich election extravaganza. Data is connected to the nature of campaign required and its progress is mapped through a variety of tools. *Electronic media starts showing dashboards, charts, figures and data enabled analysis as if it was CEO’s war room, rather than a TV studio. This data story can go on and on. Unfortunately, this whole edifice is built on the hapless voter, who can be called as the victim of the current practice of democracy, where everything is legally mandated for him.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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