Congress party starts a data analytics department in yet another attempt to match BJP on social media

The Congress president announced the new ‘data analytics’ department of his party on February 5th. The department will be headed by Praveen Chakravarthy, a senior fellow at IDFC institute. It appears that the Congress is taking steps to match BJP as far as its social media capabilities are concerned.

What is data analytics?

Data analytics is basically a software technology used for extracting information from any pile of data. There is a distinct difference between data and information. Data is a collection of facts that may be useless. However, information is processed data which can help in making decisions.

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For example, contents of a thousand tweets are mere data. However, an analysis which separates tweets on politics, sports, cinema and other topics is ‘information.’

The governments push for understanding pulse of people through data analytics 

The information and broadcasting ministry under Smriti Irani has been pushing for the establishment of media units in various parts of the country to gauge the pulse of people. The same machinery will be used to reach out to people and communicated to the electorate regarding government programmes. According to reports, the media units will be set up in smaller towns and cities in UP, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Social media was actively monitored by the government for responses to the schemes and programmes announced during the finance minister’s budget speech. The aim was to understand which scheme was gaining appreciation. It also picked up people’s criticism regarding budget provisions.

The Congress party is trying to match the BJP’s social media strategy

The Congress party has mocked the ‘marketing‘ skills of current PM consistently. It had also criticised him for managing the Vibrant Gujarat summit’s communication outreach with the assistance of APCO. However, it has realised that the times have changed and there is a need to have a good communication strategy. Therefore it is striving hard to match BJP’s communication machinery.

Congress was caught with its pants down for using Kazhak bots to enhance the image of Rahul Gandhi on social media. Yesterday a video of its social media head Divya Spandana asking her party workers to create multiple accounts on Twitter. So, finally, they have realised that they need more ‘accounts’ on Twitter to ‘enhance’ the image of a clueless and unsalable product that is Rahul Gandhi.

It has also been reported that the Congress party has been trying to hire the firm called Cambridge Analytica to manage its social media strategy. Whether they have hired or not is still not clear.

Praveen Chakravarthy has now joined the team of such durbari servants. Praveen had co-authored a propaganda article along with Jairam Ramesh with an aim to disprove findings of an IIM study on jobs data We had debunked the theories presented in that article. So, good luck to Praveen Chakravarthy on his new mission. He will now be using sophisticated algorithms to understand how many real Twitter accounts still fell that Rahul Gandhi is unfit to become a leader of a big country like India.

What is however evident, is that Congress is bereft of new ideas and has to mooch off the BJP to market their product. Whether it was Rahul’s temple run in Gujarat, his recent soft Hindutva approach (which obviously didn’t last very long) or now, his push to understand the electorate through Social Media (in which, he has to rely on bots and fake accounts, squarely messing that strategy up too). While they keep losing elections after elections, it stands to reason that Rahul Gandhi can’t seem to capitalise on methods as well as BJP. Or perhaps, as they say : Good marketing can’t sell a bad product.


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