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Cambridge Analytica's psychographic profiling for behavioral microtargeting for election processes

Understand personality, not just demographics. OCEAN model: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.

In a 10 minute presentation at the 2016 Concordia Summit, Mr. Alexander Nix discusses the power of big data in global elections. Cambridge Analytica's revolutionary approach to audience targeting, data modeling, and psychographic profiling has made them a leader in behavioral micro-targeting for election processes around the world.

Cambridge's voter data innovations are built from a traditional five-factor model for gauging personality traits. The company uses ongoing nationwide survey data to evaluate voters in specific regions according to the OCEAN or CANOE factors of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The ultimate political application of the modeling system is to craft specific ad messages tailored to voter segments based on how they fall on the five-factor spectrum.

The number-crunching and analytics for Mr. Trump felt more like a "data experiment," said Matthew Oczkowski, head of product at Cambridge Analytica, who led the team for nearly six months.

"I think they're not Americans, and they have a little bit of trouble understanding the American political systems and how things work," said one of eight GOP political consultants interviewed for this story under condition of anonymity. The consultant believes Cambridge's voter-data modeling is sophisticated and effective, but also complained that the firm is more focused on its sales and marketing efforts than actually fulfilling core analytics work promised to clients.

"Everyone universally agrees that their sales operation is better than their fulfillment product," said another consultant who has worked with the company. "The product comes late or it's not quite what you envisioned."

"What's the old saying?" asked another source, conjuring up a metaphor to describe Cambridge Analytica. "All hat, no cattle?"

The company is helmed by Alexander Nix, a former financial analyst-turned psychological consultant on international elections and government initiatives. Mr. Nix was crowned one of "25 geniuses" who are creating the future of business" by Wired Magazine in April, which certainly could be evidence of Cambridge's PR machine, which helped generate lots of media hype as the primaries kicked into gear.

Mercer Money Pressure:

Cambridge Analytica has funding from a particularly influential hedge fund analyst and enigmatic conservative political donor, Robert Mercer, who is widely reported to be a key investor in the firm, though the company will not discuss its investors. It's easy to draw the connection to Senator Cruz -- the primary horse backed by Mr. Mercer, who donated millions to Cruz super PAC Keep the Promise. The hawkish Bolton SuperPAC has also been the recipient of Mercer cash. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the PAC got $2 million in 2015 from the Mercers.


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