Six Data Science Lessons from the Epic Polling Failure

Big data analytics suffered a huge setback on Tuesday when nearly every political poll failed to predict the outcome of the presidential election. The epic failure not only stunned a nation that expected Hillary Clinton to be elected but ended up with Donald Trump. It also left data science experts wondering how so many experienced pollsters could get it so wrong, and what they can do to ensure they don’t repeat the mistakes.

Think this wasn’t a failure of big data? Think again. Political polling is “clearly a big data exercise,” says Bill Schmarzo, the chief technology officer of the Big Data Practice of EMC Global Services. “There’s tons of big data that’s used in these polls to try to predict, on a county by county basis, who’s going to show up.”

Author: Alex Woodie


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