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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Predictive Analytics

The Big Idea for Monday, January 21, 2013

The trick to winning an election -- or for that matter, designing a successful corporate campaign -- is data. And there are certainly tricks involved. 

As Eric Siegel points out today, predictive analytics proved to be the key to victory for President Obama. If the Republicans hope to win back the White House in 2016, they will need to optimize the presidential map to their advantage, as Steven Mazie points out

Both strategies, whatever we think of their ethical implications, are derived from the idea that campaigns and elections are no longer about targeting the general population, but micro targeting key groups in key areas. 


  1. 1 Team Obama Mastered the Science of Mass Persuasion -- And Won
    Eric Siegel Experts' Corner
  2. 2 How to Predict the Unpredictable: Use Data
    Nouriel Roubini
  3. 3 The 2012 Election: A Big Win for Big Data
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 How the GOP Plans to Take the White House in 2016
    Steven Mazie Praxis

Predictive Analytics

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