Friday, 12 February 2016

Insight for elections 2016


Researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics have taken all nine party manifestos and, using text analysis, have created a single graphic for each, based on the most frequently used words.

The largest word in each word cloud is the most frequently used. In some cases, like the Green Party, the word is intuitive: green. In others, like Fianna Fail, less so: service.

The manifesto-crunching exercise is part of the Insight4Elections project. Tomorrow the Insight Centre will launch a complete web service for the voter, journalist or candidate who wants to keep a close eye on Twitter trends related to each candidate, their key issues or their newspaper coverage.

For months researchers at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics have watched the engagement of all GE16 candidates, tracking growth in their follower numbers and activity on their Twitter pages. Using sentiment analysis tools developed by Insight, researchers are tracking key election issues as they emerge on the social networking platform.

From tomorrow, the service will be available to the public.

Dr Derek Greene and Dr Georgiana Ifrim, lead investigators on the project, are hoping that the research will help voters and social media users to get a bird’s eye view of the general election campaign as it unfolds online.

“The Insight Centre represents a major investment by the Irish tax payer and through this project we hope to demonstrate the value that good data research can bring to the democratic process,” said Dr Greene.

One of Insight's key areas of research is how open data can be mined and presented for public use.


Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Insight Centre was set up in 2013 to bring together the expertise of 400 data researchers across the country. The Insight4Elections project involves a team of researchers across Insight at University College Dublin and Dublin City University.

If using this data, please credit the Insight Centre for Data Analytics

www.insight-centre.org