By Doug Usher; Partner, Forbes Tate Partners
How far can you go in politics with strong skills in political analytics?
Just ask Becca Siegel (M.A., Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, Columbia University), who was the chief analytics officer for the Biden 2020 campaign and the White House’s COVID-19 Response senior advisor from 2021 to 2022.
Siegel is now a leader in Democratic politics, based on her ability to combine strong data skills with exceptional political acumen. During the Biden campaign, she built an analytics team of more than 150 “brilliant, weird folks” (her words!), who were at the core of nearly every major decision that the campaign made.
In a campaign that was won at the margins, data made the difference—in advertising strategy, targeting, and turnout. Her handiwork helped the Biden team turn Georgia, Arizona, and key Midwest swing states blue.
In the time since then, Becca has served in the highest levels of the Biden administration, and today she works with campaigns, organizations, and companies in and out of politics to guide decision-making, analytics, outreach, and political strategy. In addition to the 2020 election, you saw her handiwork in the early months of the Biden administration when it worked to get tens of millions of Americans vaccinated and spread the word on COVID-19 safety.
According to Siegel: “It’s not just the technical skills that matter—it’s also the ability to prioritize which problems to solve each day. That’s why the right training is so important, and why I am so excited about the new Political Analytics program at Columbia.”
About the Program
The M.S. in Political Analytics program is designed to fill an important role in the rapidly developing field of data analytics as it is applied to politics and public policy, allowing students who are interested in new approaches to data analytics—such as machine learning—to integrate those interests with a politics or policy focus. Furthermore, it will provide a clearer professional trajectory, by helping students acquire necessary skills and suitable employment after graduation.
About the Author
Dr. Doug Usher is a partner at Forbes Tate Partners. He has spent the past two decades building insights that have helped change the strategic trajectory of major corporations, industry associations, and political campaigns, combining deep expertise in opinion research, data analysis, and analytics with years of experience navigating the intersection between business goals and the political, policy, and regulatory spheres. He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in government and research methodology.
Learn more about the new Columbia University M.S. in Political Analytics program. The 36-credit program is available part-time and full-time.
For general information and admissions questions, please call 212-854-9666 or email politicalanalytics [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu ()