Lok Sabha election 2019 will be all about data & analytics
New Delhi, Dec 8: With the advancement in technology, elections too have changed like any other field of society. Ever since the BJP ran berserk with its hi-tech election campaign in the general elections of 2014, other parties too have understood the significance of data-driven elections in making major influences on the results and have started diversifying their outlook away from the traditional ways of electioneering.
The Congress, which started it much later than the BJP given the fact that it has been an outfit comfortable more with the traditional style of politics, has now made data analytics a key part of its preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Party president Rahul Gandhi is now focusing on his data analytics department to understand the voting patterns and other electoral nuances that are at play since 2009 in a bid to outclass the BJP in the upcoming elections.
According to a report in Analytics India Magazine, a recent report on the use of data in elections in India showed the rising trend of using data-driven techniques and how they are eclipsing the traditional methods of electioneering. "In India, the 2014 elections were one of the first to use data, technology, and digital platforms played a central role in the way the campaigns were designed, structured, targeted, implemented, and communicated. Over the years, data and technology have played a key role in strategically navigating the complexities of demographics, religion, politics and caste in India," the magazine report said.
It said while the ruling party BJP, known for its tech-savvy conduct, took a lead in making use of technology for political gains, the Opposition Congress and other parties entered the fray late to put in place a significant digital strategy.
One of the examples of the technology-driven political strategy has been targeting the mobile voters.
"The BJP targeted mobile voters through voice broadcasting, used GPS in campaign vans to increase efficiency, and used cookies on their website to allow them to harvest and further use information about user's internet activity towards customized advertisements," the Analytics India Magazine report said.
For the 2014 LS elections, data were obtained from the Election Commission website besides other government websites. They were used, along with data from social media platforms and historical election records. Even personal data have been collated through app, social media and even missed calls.
In 2019, an estimated 258-plus million social network users will be India compared to 168 million in 2016, the report cited a market research firm as saying. It also cited a Times of India report to say that Congress has taken several initiatives to get all its party workers on a common digital platform with the goal of giving the BJP a competition in the game the latter has mastered.