Bluedot's real-time data insights set to drive future political campaigns

Bluedot's real-time data insights set to drive future political campaigns

Accurate swing predictions validate tech-driven methods

Sunday, September 20, 2020

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Data-driven entity Bluedot Insights believes they are ushering a new era in Jamaican politics.

Bluedot is using innovative technologies with the hope of securing victories for party candidates across both divides in local and general elections.

The newest innovations from the market research entity is the provision of data mining, data analytics and predictive analytics services.

Bluedot became the first to provide real-time results from its tech-driven data insights via the company's Live Poll Dashboard for the recent general elections.

The rapid turnaround of Bluedot's technology allowed local political candidates and their teams, as well as people from anywhere in the world, to view live polling data being submitted electronically by the field team during the campaign period leading up to the recent general election.

Larren Peart, Bluedot's founder and chief executive officer, commented on his company's election 2020 activities.

“This election was primarily about groundwork.

“So, we focused on information that would help the candidates to make data-driven decisions by polling what constituents were saying about them and what they outlined as some of their issues.”

Peart's team was hired to conduct constituency polls for 14 political candidates from both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP).

“The poll was tailored to collect as much verbatim opinions as possible. And, because we use GPS, we were able to instruct our clients to go to specific areas — down to the street level— to address the stated needs. We advised the candidates on how to approach that particular area based on sentiment data and they were able to tailor their messaging to speak directly to those needs once we noticed a trend. They acted quickly and that played a key part in their success,” Peart offered.

Bluedot's Live Poll Dashboard's real-time capabilities allowed their clients to interpret data, pivot and make quick decisions instead of waiting the traditional four to six weeks to obtain results. The dashboard has also garnered attention from international news agency Bloomberg News. The six-year-old company also boasts being the first in the world to use neuroscience to predict outcomes, as it did with the winner of the Portland Eastern by-elections in 2019, and having Bluedot Comuna, the only online panel in the Caribbean which it uses to instantly tap into a pool of 14,000 nationally representative Jamaicans to conduct surveys at any given time.

A newcomer to Jamaica's traditional polling scene, Bluedot Insights joined industry stalwarts Don Anderson and Bill Johnson who, for decades, have provided accurate predictions of numerous elections.

All had accurately predicted the historic win by the JLP that secured 48 seats to the PNP's 15 seats on September's Election Day. The results also provided vindication for pollsters who had recently come under heavy scrutiny by politicians and the wider public questioning their accuracy and objectives.

Kevin O'Brien Chang, political commentator, columnist and author for more than 20 years, offered the following comments “…they're (Bluedot) objective, independent scientifically based. They give us reality, not just our personal views and opinions of where we are or political propaganda … the polls have no personal prejudices in them, so it raises the quality of the debate and we get a better democratic decision within the end — one based on facts, and not hearsay and propaganda.”

Chang continued, “When things are swirling all around you, it's exciting and there are a million voices talking. But what do you pay attention to? Scientifically conducted independent polls are beholden to nobody, they're not pushing any agenda except working to reflect what people on the ground are really saying. It helps the decision makers to say: 'maybe our assumptions are wrong; let us change strategy'.”

Standing by methodologies that include both the use of technology and traditional means, Bluedot's chief insights officer, Chavanie Bright, maintains that the results, provided in partnership with Nationwide News Network, were always unbiased and accurate.

“We knew pretty early on that it was going to be a national swing and we made conservative predictions of 41-22,” she said.

“For example, when looking at the numbers from Westmoreland Central, St Elizabeth North Eastern, and also in the case of Manchester Central where we saw that the traditionally PNP-leaning Bellefield Division showed signs of a flip, it confirmed to us that there was going to be a significant national swing.”


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