Analytics and the upcoming election

Last year I wrote an article ‘The Future of Polling in New Zealand‘ for InterView, the Research Association of New Zealand’s magazine. I talked about how conventional polls still work in New Zealand, for now, but eventually methods will need to change. One promising avenue is data analytics. Given the right combination of data and skill, conclusions can be reached from even highly unrepresentative data sources, and the range and quantity of data that analysts can access is increasing all the time.

The new Zavy politics dashboard is an example of what’s out there. Zavy are not attempting to predict the upcoming election. What they offer though is the ability to see which policies and political events are shaping conversations in New Zealand, on a live on-going basis. This is something that political polls cannot offer – by the time they’re released the conversation has often changed.Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 9.53.40 AMPoliticians, potential politicians, and political parties have access to these sorts of analyses. They use it to refine their messaging – to see what strikes a chord with likely voters. Zavy’s new public dashboard is just scraping the surface of what’s possible with social media analytics – but now we can all see at least some of what the politicians are seeing!


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