Trumps big data and his 34 million dollar need for suppression
01 November 2016
For the outsider the American election is as gripping as an outstanding TV drama. It is hard to believe it’s real! And as the days tick down to next week’s polling there will inevitably be more plot twists and turns by both candidates each worthy of a season finale cliff hanger.
It is hard to escape all the media coverage that the election is generating, but we were very interested by Bloomberg Business Week’s article documenting its exclusive access to the Trump operation, particularly the bit about data.
Trump has hired scores of data scientists to collect, analyse and process millions of pieces of voter data. His team is spending millions every month to build a mega-database. It is estimated that by Election Day Trump will have captured the email addresses, social media handles, contact details and preferences for around 14 million Americans as well as the credit card details for around 2.5 million. It has been valued at approximately $112 million. It’s huge and will rival some of the customer databases of the biggest firms (and significantly, media networks) in the US which have taken years to compile.
There’s speculation abound as to what The Donald will do next if he doesn’t win the Election, but what is clear is that he will have an extremely powerful asset at his fingertips. Given that he alone has funded it, he alone will own it and will be able to deploy it to whatever purpose he chooses. As Bloomberg says: he can sell access to other campaigns, he could use it for a 2020 Presidential run or he could use it to launch a Trump TV network which produces programming specifically built around Trump support demographics - he is after all an entrepreneur.
If this is the case maybe we’ll give Mr Trump a call to remind him about the importance of data hygiene – after all within just 12 months the data could have eroded by a third wiping $34 million off its value.