Sample Campaign Using #OpenData &

7 Sep 2010

One of the things that I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on is for the use of Statistics Edmonton for political campaigns and business analytics.  I thought I’d drop a sample campaign to show people an example of how people can put in custom data to visualize interesting trends/statistics.

Analyzing a Sample Election Campaign (using Ward 8, where I'm in). We'll be
looking at insights drawn from census stats + example campaign data.

A few things to note:

1) If you want to try this yourself, this literally takes seconds to do.  Needs Excel, your data (samplePoliticsWard08.txt in this example), a web browser (Google Chrome recommended), and  Simple copy-n-paste operation.

2) If you’re putting in your own private campaign/business information, it’s safe.  Nothing’s saved, and everything happens locally on your computer.

3) If you like, please drop me a vote for the Apps4Edmonton Open Data Competition (helps determine winners), and a comment would be really appreciated!  It’s the only analytical political or business open data app, and your votes would be very encouraging for continuing this app forward.

4) I want to thank Don Iveson (Ward 10) for helping me figure out the neighbourhoods-to-Wards relationship through Mack Male’s ShareEdmonton.  A big shout out to Andrew Knack (Ward 1) who helped me with Ward 1 plus suggesting a number of interesting stats a campaign might be interested in.

5) The same infrastructure supports ridings, wards of different areas, combinations, cities, and countries.  If that’s something you’re interested in, please feel free to drop me an e-mail (e u g e n e _ a t _ or Twitter (@ideaOwl), and please feel free to vote and comment as such too!

1) Number of Voters + Demographic Breakdown

One of the most basic things to learn about a district/riding/ward – the neighbourhoods and their population.  In this case, in Ward 8, Strathcona and Garneau have the highest populations: of the 27 neighbourhoods, about 25% of the voting public in this Ward come from these two neighbourhoods.

(The 18 and 19 year-old crowd?  That’s a limitation based on the census data available, which has breakdowns on a 5-year range (like 15-19, 20-24).   Unfortunate, but something that could be replaced with researched and estimated numbers from a political research campaign)

2) Voters to Volunteers Ratio

Need to see if there’s a good balance on how many volunteers you have for each neighbourhood?  Plug a ratio on Excel (simple voters-divided-by-volunteers column), and…

In this sample campaign – it looks like there’s 6,000+ potential voters…  To one volunteer.  Seems like something that needs rectifying. :)

Value from this is relatively straightforward.  A campaign would want to make sure there’s enough volunteers to cover each neighbourhood/district.

3) What are the Key Issues for Neighbourhood _____?

You can take a look and compare the issues found important/key for each neighbourhood, and compare their spread across different neighbourhoods.  For example:

It seems like the (sample) issue of “Community Involvement” is a hot topic overall in Strathcona.  I did this in terms of overall population, but it’s just as easy to make it a ratio (as in, 40% of the neighbourhood found this issue a key one).

The total at the bottom right indicates, then, that about 22% of the Ward feels that this is a key issue for them.  Campaign platforms could be built on this data.

Last) Specific Demographic Targeting

I wasn’t sure I would show this, but the unique datapoint I found is the sort of insight I wouldn’t have learned without looking at the demographics.  In particular…

The 65+ year crowd is unusually populous in Ottewell: 21.7% in the area (1,307) are 65 and over, compared with 4.4% in Garneau (403 people).


That’s a quick look on how a political campaign can create and use their own data to help their campaign.  As mentioned, this is something that could easily be replicated for different cities and countries, and a number of insights could also be drawn for businesses.  The sampleCustomData.txt on the site provides some examples of this.

If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to  e-mail (e u g e n e _ a t _ or Twitter (@ideaOwl) me, and please vote and comment for if you like the concept and see potential in this!

1 Response to Sample Campaign Using #OpenData &


Where Edmonton’s Families Live - Ideas Worth Sharing

September 10th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

[...] common piece of feedback I’m getting with Statistics Edmonton (besides for business/political campaigns and analytics) is that people want to use it to figure out the right place for them to stay.  With that in mind, [...]

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About ideaOwl

Tech Entrepreneur, MBTI INFJ, random idea generator in the evenings. Been in the military, developed financial risk rating software, and worked in Waterloo, Singapore, Boston.


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