If you’ve yet not discovered Alexis Madrigal’s fascinating Atlantic article (#longread), describing “how a dream team of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google built the software that drove Barack Obama’s re-election,” stop right now and read it.
In essence, a team of technologists developed for the Obama campaign a robust, in-house platform that integrated a range of capabilities that seamlessly connected analytics, outreach, recruitment, and fundraising. While difficult to construct, the platform ultimately delivered, enabling a degree of logistical support that Romney’s campaign reportedly was never able to achieve.
It’s an incredible story, and arguably one with significant implications for digital health.
(1) To Leverage The Power of Data, Interoperability Is Essential
Data are useful only to the extent you can access, analyze, and share them. It increasingly appears that the genius of the Obama campaign’s technology effort wasn’t just the specific data tools that permitted microtargeting of constituents, or evaluated voter solicitation messages, or enabled the cost-effective purchasing of advertising time. Rather, success flowed from the design attributes of the platform itself, a platform built around the need for inoperability, and guided by an integrated strategic vision.