April 27, 2015

Data visualization a campaign necessity

The fastest growing industries in the US including medical technology, energy and finance have all become reliant on data visualization. While many in professional politics and government are using visualized data on platforms such as L2 DataMapping, many in the political space are left saying ‘this is nice but what’s wrong with my spreadsheet?’

Below are several ways you can use a visualization tool to help you communicate with voters, raise money and win elections.

Understand your district better. Excel and Google docs have made handling raw data easier, however, seeing the area you’re campaigning in colored by party, income, education or race gives you an instant snapshot of critical information. The graphic below shows the New Orleans area colored by broad ethnic grouping.  You’re able to see pockets of East and South Asian voters (colored in red) which when broken down further you come realize are Vietnamese-Americans that make up over 5,000 voters with higher then average turnout.

Below: Areas in red are growing pockets of Vietnamese immigrants. 

Use resources more effectively. Don’t waste time targeting districts you don’t need, when you can easily see where you need to be calling, walking, emailing or mailing.

Below: See two distinct pockets of Republican/Conservative donors(red) vs. Democratic/Liberal donors.(blue)Liberal vs Conservative Donors

Go beyond political boundaries. Campaigns rarely have the luxury of being able to find their target voters and donors by zip code or precinct. Most campaigns have to work on the neighborhood level or find their targets spread across a wide area.  Visualizations can give you a literal roadmap to individual targets.

Below: A large pocket of voters with advanced degrees (red)Educated

Explore new data. Data visualization platforms like L2 DataMapping allow users to make hundreds of different area and demographic selections giving you the speed to explore without wasting time. A visualization tool may also allow you to bring in your own data from canvassing surveys or donor calls and instantly allow you to see patterns from your unique data set.

Below: A heat map used to identify areas with greater populations of your target voter.  Latino Voters

Below: See where seniors (70+) are clustered.Retirement

Give potential clients something to talk about.  If you’re a consultant or a professional operative the ability to make selections and instantly teach a prospect something they may not have known about their district or to support your strategy is invaluable. Visualizations paint a picture and if the data reinforces your pitch you have a better chance of getting the business.

Below: Areas with and without children easily seen.Childrne

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