The biggest winner in the U.S. Presidential election was not the
incumbent, Barack Obama. It was New York Times' political blogger, Nate Silver.
In this year's tight, fiercely contested Presidential contest,
Silver accurately called 50 of 50 states plus the District of
Columbia. As a result, Silver's star is rising.
So how does Silver do this? He is not a pundit or pollster, nor
former politician or campaign operative. He is a statistician - a
quant. He does it by modeling other people's data. Silver is a poll
aggregator who uses the polls of other firms as a data stream that
he analyzes and models.
Pundit after pundit incorrectly predicted a Romney landslide.
Why? Because of that gut-feel that pundits get paid for. Only one
other forecast matched Silver's and that was another poll
aggregator. Just like pundits, quants can get it wrong. But when
done properly, quants beat pundits every time.
The era of Big Data has arrived, and this is where quants come
to the rescue. Their specialty is modeling data, and in a world
flooded with data, good, solid quantitative analytics will be table
stakes for success.
Nate Silver's success has changed the face of political
reporting by putting quants on everyone's radar. A Forbesnews analysis the day after the election
noted three ways Silver has made a lasting impact in politics, ways
that are true more broadly as well.
First, quants are now a permanent part of the scene, and they
focus on numbers not on presumptions, biases, and
rules-of-thumb. Second, quantitative analysis removes much of
the mystery that has shrouded elections, marketing and other
futures. Finally, expertise is being redefined. Processing,
analyzing and modeling Big Data demands a much higher level of
quantitative analytics than ever before. Knowing how to handle Big
Data will be essential to proficiency and credibility.
Big Data requires quants who can wrestle it to the ground. Nate
Silver showed this off to the world, and now the world is demanding
more of this show.
Download the full report below or visit The Futures Company website.
Source: The Futures Company