May 29, 2012

Cover Story

CEO of the Year

Utah’s business landscape is rich with professionals who have le...Read More

Featured Articles

Did you go Skiing this winter?

Around Utah

Sections

Spotlight
Martin Plaehn

Spotlight
Karen Sendelback

Legal Briefs
Social Media and Employers: Friends or Enemies?

Money Talk
The Case for HSAs

Economic Insight
Time to Show Up

Lessons Learned
Make a Move

TechKnowledge
In the Lab

EntrepreneurEdge
Rent to Own

Business Trends
Back from the Dead

Executive Living
Artful Inspiration

Features
A Breath of Fresh Air

Features
Worst-Case Scenario

Regional Report
Northern Utah

Focus
Measure Up

Industry Outlook
Travel & Tourism

Players
Players

Article

PoliticIt.com Succeeds at Predicting Election Outcomes

Press Release

May 29, 2012

It’s the puzzle so many are trying to solve—seeing the future. Can “Twitter sentiment” accurately predict the movement of Facebook’s stock price? Can the Romney campaign reliably forecast a Super Tuesday win based on social media trending?

Firms such as Gallup, A.C. Nielsen, Attensity, Netvibes, DataSift and Lithium are racing for the answer. But a small startup called PoliticIt at Utah State University in northern Utah got there first.

In the last month, PoliticIt examined its data on more than 90 upcoming primary races all across the nation—races for the Senate, the House and for governor—and it correctly predicted the outcome in a remarkable 87 percent of those races. PoliticIt accurately called the results in 100 percent of Utah primary campaigns, including in three “upset” cases that traditional polling got totally wrong.

How did this six-month-old startup, created by five Jon M. Huntsman School of Business students and professor John D. Johnson, develop a functioning political crystal ball?

Well, some firms analyze just one or two social media channels; DataSift and Attensity, for example, analyze just Twitter.

The more ambitious approach is to build an analysis machine that swallows “big data” from all of the sources—from all across the Internet, from many forms of social media, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, InTrade, Wikipedia and more, and from the vast numbers of traditional media. Then the challenge is to understand that data, identify the powerful “influencers,” read the “word clouds” and build a statistical model that predicts the outcome.

That’s what PoliticIt has done.

“We add over 30 megabytes of text and data every day to our database, which is now close to three terabytes,” said Josh Light, co-founder and CEO. After that, it’s all about the algorithm, as the Google boys, Brin and Page, like to say. PoliticIt has a powerful algorithm that can measure “digital influence” by calculating an "It Score"—a number from one to 100 that signifies a candidate’s digital influence. These "It Scores" accurately predict, significantly in advance, both poll and election results, says Sterling Morris, co-founder and chief marketing officer of the company.

The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University seeks to inspire and equip students to become innovative, ethical leaders with refined analytical skills that will help them understand and succeed in the global marketplace. The Huntsman School of Business is one of eight colleges at USU, located in northern Utah. More information on the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business may be found on the web atwww.huntsman.usu.edu&esheet=50290333&lan=en-US&anchor=www.huntsman.usu.edu&index=1&md5=90991c93201c1d5266804552989e9214"> www.huntsman.usu.edu.

(5.29.12)

 

Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Health Care HeroesUtah Business Event
Oct 21, 2014
Please join us, along with our sponsors, MountainStar Healthcare, and Roseman University in honor...
Content Marketing BootcampUtah Business Event
Oct 28, 2014
Please join Utah Business Magazine, along with our sponsor Adobe, for an in-depth, hands-on, educ...
Community Events View All
How to Do Business with Kellogg’s
Sep 22, 2014
Participants will gain an awareness of enhanced awareness on the importance of supplier diversity...
DecisionWise Engagement MAGIC Training
Sep 23, 2014
From the authors of MAGIC: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Employee Engagement. Engagement MA...

info@utahbusiness.com  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
Date(s):
to
* Event Description:
  Cancel