The TRUMP card of social media and the death of the analyst?

The Crystal Ball has often been a go-to source of predictions. However, in this day of technology and huge amounts of stored information, data analysis is often touted as the benchmark of forecasting.

Virtually all the major vote forecasters, including Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, The New York Times Upshot and the Princeton Election Consortium, put Mrs. Clinton’s chances of winning in the 70 to 99 percent range.

Like the rest of us, we rely with a fair amount of certainty on the prophetic powers of the huge analyst companies and pollsters. A lot of those have now been Trumped and have ended up with egg on their faces.

Then of course there are the “prophesier’s”. TB Joshua is renowned for his controversial prophetic abilities.
“…I saw the new President of America with a narrow win…. By the way‚ in order not to keep you in suspense‚ what I frankly saw is a woman.”

Joshua is not the only one to get it wrong. Another Nigerian prophet, Emmanuel Ameh, prophesied that he saw “protests, violence and riots after the victory of Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump will not accept defeat.”

Are predictions worth nothing? OR were all the predictions based on false data?

Let’s check that by looking at other sources of data. Did the analysis of social media do a better job? BrandsEye says it based its predictions on “accurately listening to over 27 million social media conversations by almost 3 million authors”. It then used unique crowd sourcing technology “to establish confidence levels of 99% with a 1.67% margin of error on this vast data base” and predicted that Trump would become America’s 45th president today.

It appears to me then, that while different forms of analysis may get things right or get things wrong, the underlying message is that we can never predict what will happen, as skilled as we might be UNLESS we use the best information available to us.

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