Dan Wagner, CEO and founder of the Chicago-based big data analytics firm Civis Analytics, will kick off the University of Montana’s Big Data Lecture Series with a talk titled “Big Data in Electoral Politics and Beyond: Revealing the Science of Political Science.”

The free lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the Montana Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio-TV Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture series is sponsored by GCS.

In 2012, Wagner and his team of big data scientists revolutionized electoral politics by applying big data technology to the Obama re-election campaign. Rather than solely focusing on large demographic blocks, Wagner developed new analytical tools that mined massive electoral and social media data sets to identify likely Obama voters.

They pioneered big data methods and techniques to determine individual voter preference at a level of detail never seen before in a national campaign, feeding predictive models to determine voter outcome.

Civis Analytics now applies many of the same complex processes to glean valuable insights from big data. In his lecture, Wagner will describe how big data analytics benefit government, corporations, academia and politics.

Last year, UM teamed with IBM and TerraEchos to offer the first undergraduate big data analytics course in the world. The class, offered through UM’s School of Business Administration, taught students the basics of IBM’s InfoSphere Streams program.

For more information, call GCS office manager Caitlin Frisbie at (406) 747-8393 or email cfrisbie@yourdatasmarter.com.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at newsdesk@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5240

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