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Obama Campaign Chief Data Scientist Talk

Title: Using Data and Analytics Powers for Good

Speaker: Rayid Ghani

His personal website: http://www.rayidghani.com/

Bio: Rayid Ghani is currently at the Computation Institute and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He is also the co-founder of Edgeflip, an analytics and social media startup that is focused on helping non-profits, advocacy groups, and charities do better fundraising, volunteer recruiting, outreach and advocacy. Previously, Rayid was the Chief Scientist for the Obama 2012 Election Campaign focusing on analytics, data, and technology. 

Rayid is currently focused on using data, analytics (and other related buzzwords ) for social good, both with Edgeflip and the University of Chicago. In his spare time, Rayid advises several startups and non-profits and speaks at, attends, and organizes academic and industry analytics conferences.

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  • Andrew M.

    Three favorite quotes from my notes: "Not going for perfection, going for better than random." On using FB to target voters: "If you look at our Facebook page, the largest city was Jakarta." And on press coverage of Obama data cave: "most of the things you read about us in the news were wrong." @rayidghani was great! He should write a forensic account of the use of data analysis in the campaign which is a badly needed resource.

    1 · October 8, 2013

    • Andrew M.

      I think he meant that the data cave analysts were aiming for result that were at least statistically significant (better than random) but not not perfect (strong correlation). Or to put it another way close enough was good enough for data analysis in a fast paced political campaign with deadlines and limited resources.

      October 9, 2013

    • Prashant

      Makes sense, thank you for the insight into how their time constraint and cost structure may affect how they viewed model success.

      October 9, 2013

  • Tom L.

    I typed up some notes from the talk: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ig44fvk2bfqzryt/527OcFO-hA

    2 · October 8, 2013

  • Geoffrey S. N.

    during the course of last night's talk I referenced in my question to Mr Ghani a dimly remembered article in the Times titled 'Data You Can Believe In' in which he was quoted. it's worth a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/the-obama-campaigns-digital-masterminds-cash-in.html?

    October 8, 2013

  • Karan K.

    Great talk by Rayid, he kept things light while getting deep enough for us to understand the true use of the data he was dealing with. Of course the humor helped to keep people engaged as did the format of Q&A as part of the talk. Thanks Knewton and NYC Open Data for hostng :) defin use the second logo for NYC OpenData ;)

    October 8, 2013

  • TASS G.

    In the final analysis there are truly three possibilities.
    1) Obama really did not need Rayid Ghani at all
    or
    2) Obama could not have won without Rayid Ghani
    or
    3) Rayid Ghani had elements that Obama by his own design maintained and this helped him win.

    But if you listen closely you will see it is the persuasive strategy of Rayid Ghani that is the important element. And Obama does not get much credit really. But then again I came late so perhaps I missed something.

    October 8, 2013

  • Clarence B.

    It was "better than random"!

    October 7, 2013

  • Mehboob A.

    Covered an incredible amount of ground on so many subjects.. and yet on only one content-free slide! jk!

    1 · October 7, 2013

  • Ritesh

    It was scintillating

    October 7, 2013

  • ben

    darn, can't make it. i changed my res.

    October 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Stuff came up, but wish I could come!

    October 7, 2013

    • Shangxuan Vivian Z.

      please change your RSVP accordingly. The sooner, the better.

      October 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I did. That's why I commented

      October 7, 2013

  • carlos manuel m.

    I'm sorry I would not be able to make it

    October 7, 2013

  • Muhammad

    I'm sorry, I won't be able to make it. I have changed my RSVP; so, I hope someone else gets in. All the best. :)

    October 7, 2013

  • Tony B.

    Confirmed, I'm making it in

    October 7, 2013

  • Tony B.

    With threatening weather, may catch live stream instead. Will make go/no decision at 4:30 after which I'll update RSVP status.

    October 7, 2013

    • Shangxuan Vivian Z.

      if you release your spot at last minute, others won't be able to get ready and come on time. Please change RSVP ASAP.

      October 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Vivian, this going to be recorded?

    1 · October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, can't make this anymore, I've just changed my RSVP to NO. Is there a simply way to pass this on to someone else?

    October 7, 2013

    • Shangxuan Vivian Z.

      Once you changed your RSVP, the first person on the waiting list will get a confirmation for spot.

      October 7, 2013

  • Lyn L.

    Hello! Looks super interesting. Thanks!

    October 7, 2013

  • Arnab B.

    Something came up. Can't attend today. Changed my RSVP. Hope everyone enjoys the talk.

    October 7, 2013

    • Prashant

      Hi Arnab. If you're not going, could I pick up the ticket? Livestream is nice but it would be great to pick his brain "live". Thanks!

      October 7, 2013

    • Arnab B.

      Ya Prashant, sure. If the ticket is printed, you can pick up mine. Would have loved to be there. Just some damn important homework submission tomorrow.
      Hope you guys enjoy the talk.
      Best,
      Arnab

      October 7, 2013

  • Kelly T.

    Still on the Waitlist, anyone have an extra ticket?

    October 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Last minute change in my plans, out of the city for the week. Pickup the ticket under my name.

      1 · October 6, 2013

    • Kelly T.

      Appreciate that Prateek!

      October 6, 2013

  • Prashant

    Pretty exiting! Thanks Viv.

    October 6, 2013

  • Dinesh K.

    SAS Data miner/Analyst taking Big data steps.

    September 30, 2013

  • Marshall S.

    Like to attend

    September 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very interested in his work

    September 20, 2013

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