Triumph of the quants

Felix Salmon points outthat all the election quants are taking a victory lap, because they all did remarkably well.
As for Nate Silver:

If you think that the value of Nate Silver is in the model, you’re missing the most important part: there are lots of people with models, and most of those models are pretty similar to each other. The thing which sets Silver apart from the rest is that he can write: he can take a model and turn it into a narrative, walking his readers through to his conclusions.

Salmon also tells some great stories about how brilliant the Obama campaign was coordinating databases and leveraging social media. I’m skeptical. If they were so smart, why didn’t their man barely get a majority?

But his larger point bears repeating:

The thing that Silver and the Obama campaign have in common … is that they used their databases to tell stories.

Posted from WordPress for Android


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