I wrote this a couple years ago:
During the elections, I was struck by the lack of databases and real-world linkages. Such tools could be great assets for both campaigning and direct marketing. I think of this as a “mirror world”– a virtual replica of the real world along multiple dimensions:
- start with maps
- add a layer of establishments (buildings, schools, retail outlets, roads, etc.)
- overlay this with the voter database that one can get from the Election Commissio. The voter database has names of people, their addresses, gender and age.
- add the actual voting numbers based on the data published from the EC post-election (can also incorporate historical data to get trends; need to take into account the delimitation)
- integrate the socio-demographic and development data that is available from census, various government sites (and collated by independent companies)
- finally, buy contacts lists of people with information of their digital identity (email IDs, mobile numbers)
- this database can then be continuously updated based on user interactions, thus enhancing people profiles
The work to be done needs to be done at 3 levels:
- data acquisition
- software development for ingesting the data
- creating analytics tools on the data for decision-making
Such a database would be a very powerful marketing tool. For example, a new multiplex can now reach out to people within a 5 kilometre radius via email or SMS (provided people are not registered on the Do Not Call registry). There are many such applications that I can think of.