Obama’s ‘Big Data’ Victory

When the Obama campaign emailed supporters to join a $40,000-a-ticket dinner in June at the New York home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker, journalists at ProPublica noticed something odd. They uncovered seven versions of the email solicitation for the fundraiser, some mentioning a second fundraiser that night, a concert by Mariah Carey, others that Ms. Parker is a mother, and still others that Vogue editor Anna Wintour would be at the dinner. Who got which email depended on “big data” — information about each fundraising prospect and how different people react to different messages.

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