Reported as early as Feb, 2012 in a Slate article titled “Obama’s White Whale”, project Narwhal, Obama’s top-secret campaign project until then, featuring high tech data integration and data mining techniques, promised to change the ways in which campaigns are fought and won.
It started off as part of the 2008 campaign, when early on, during the first initial steps of the campaign in 2007, each Obama campaign department started creating their own data repositories for the election and voter data they collected. They realized, albeit too late for the 2008 elections, that they were collecting unprecedented volumes of political information, but had no way of studying the data together to yield the maximum benefit, which in this case meant, targeting voters in the most effective way and getting them to cast their vote. In 2008:
Even as the outside [...]