Successful political campaigns are data-driven
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In today's business and political worlds, data is king.

The more we know about consumer/voter behaviors, the more we can predict how they will act and the more we will know why they do so and thus learn how to earn their support.

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Successful campaigns must be well-funded and staffed, but they also must have all the tools necessary to secure and understand voter patterns, micro- and macro-targeting and following the money. Knowing where your voters are and knowing the "how," "when" and "why" of the issues they care about is essential in getting their vote. In addition, knowing who is giving to whom, where they are giving and the amounts, is essential in planning your own winning fundraising and get-out-the-vote strategies.

Today, campaigns will be won and lost based on their ability to process the vast amounts of information that are being generated across the political landscape. The latest tools are able to track critical data in real time. This allows campaign to be nimble and react quickly to changes and patterns.

The new cutting edge tool for campaigns this cycle is in the ability to follow donations and political spending in real time. Advocacy Intelligence, a product from the Silicon Valley-turned-D.C. startup Circa Victor, processes data from the Federal Election Commission faster than the blink of an eye. This gives campaigns the ability to track spending by committees and candidates as it happens, to gain full situational awareness of who's spending, what the spending trends are and, most important, what's working in the world of politics. This information will influence how political monies are spent and where campaigns need to concentrate on their own fundraising efforts and deployment of manpower.

In the 2012 presidential election approximately $7 billion was spent by candidates, parties and outside groups. This election cycle is likely to eclipse that number because there is no incumbent. Some estimates exceed $10 billion in spending for the 2016 cycle. Whatever the result, tens of millions of data points will be generated on donations and spending activity alone. The ultimate victor will be the campaigns that use the latest technology in order to be data-driven.

The ability to access, gather and interpret data will be a key factor in who wins and who loses this election cycle.

Blakeman is professor of public policy, politics and international affairs at Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies and was a member of President George W. Bush's senior White House staff from 2001 to 2004. He is also a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business Channel.