Humans, Not Data, Failed to Predict Trump

Aaron Timms, Director of Content at PreData, authored a great piece in today's Fortune entitled "Was Donald Trump's Surprise Win a Failure of Big Data? Not Really." In the piece, he makes the great point that humans, not big data, failed us. Polling data has never been infallible, nor has it ever been predictive. Human biases shape every aspect of its framing, and its interpretation. That we "got it wrong" is not a failure of polling data, it is a failure of our interpretation of polling data. It's the pundits, not the big data, that got it wrong. It was a failure of Data Literacy in an era of Data Science. It was the primacy of the Techie over the Fuzzy, or a belief in the apotheosis of code at the expense of context. As Timms smartly argues, we must bridge this divide between human and machine, data literacy and data science, context and code, and Fuzzy and Techie.