Political action committees (PACs) are tasked with generating funds for candidates and mobilizing voters for upcoming elections. Much like marketers, PACs are expected to know their audience so they can devise an impactful strategy that makes every donor dollar count.
While there are many ways to make your political action committee more successful, one of the most effective approaches involves conducting comparative data analysis.
Let’s explore what comparative data analysis is, why your PAC should engage in it, and how you can use this tool effectively.
What Is Comparative Analysis?
A comparative analysis is a systematic method for comparing two (or more) concepts, problems, datasets, or products. It seeks to reveal key similarities and differences between multiple elements to promote a deeper understanding of how they interact and subsequently guide critical decision-making.
As it pertains to PACs, a comparative analysis can be used to analyze an issue like low voter turnout in a particular region by comparing that area to a geographic region with better participation.
Alternatively, you could use a comparative analysis to examine your candidate’s campaign against their competitor to determine why one group is polling better with a specific demographic.
Following a comparative analysis, you should be able to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths in your PAC. You can also identify opportunities for improvement by learning more about other political action committees, candidates, etc.
Why PACS Should Perform Comparative Data Analysis
Performing a comparative analysis allows your political action committee to accomplish the following:
Obtain a Frame of Reference
Comparative analysis provides a frame of reference for datasets. You can compare one dataset to another to understand how they’re related.
For instance, you could compare voters ages 18–30 to voters ages 31–50. You could then use the results of your analysis to identify differences between the two and more effectively target each demographic.
Narrow Its Focus
The average voter’s decision-making process can be complex and difficult to understand. Personal beliefs, family influences, lifestyle factors, and a multitude of other issues can impact who they vote for or whether they participate in elections at all.
A comparative analysis gives your political action committee the opportunity to focus on a select few variables that affect a large percentage of voters. In turn, you can direct more time and PAC resources toward these causes while routing funding away from initiatives that aren’t likely to provide a meaningful return.
Identify Similarities and Differences
At its core, a comparative analysis allows you to identify similarities and differences between two or more issues, voter groups, questions, or other elements. Drawing parallels between the concepts you’re analyzing can help you answer relevant questions, devise new solutions, and achieve political goals.
After deciding what to compare during your analysis, begin making an exhaustive list of the differences and similarities between the two topics. Try to determine how altering one variable will impact the problem or strategy you’re analyzing.
For example, you might estimate how running a week-long social media campaign will increase donations for your PAC.
How to Conduct an Effective Comparative Analysis
Your comparative analysis should be structured to align with your political action committee’s goals, purpose, and objectives. However, there are some universal tips and best practices you can follow to conduct a successful comparative analysis.
Build Out Your Dataset
You can build out your dataset in one of two ways.
The first approach involves harvesting the data yourself, which can be costly, tedious, and time-consuming. Alternatively, you can partner with a leading political data provider and tap into millions of voter files.
Look at the Problem from Multiple Perspectives
When planning a comparative analysis, you probably already have an idea of what the outcome might be. However, you must be careful not to let your internal biases influence the analysis. Instead, approach the problem from multiple perspectives and examine all sides with the same level of attention and rigor.
Account for Variables
The best comparative analyses are much more than a list of similarities and differences. These analytical processes consider independent variables that are beyond your PACs control, such as how inclement weather affects voter turnout.
While you can’t explore every possible variable, examining a wide variety of them will leave you with a better understanding of the challenges your PAC faces — and the wherewithal to tackle them as you push forward.
Conduct Ongoing Analyses
To ensure that you have access to relevant and actionable data, you must conduct ongoing comparative analyses. Generally, you should conduct a new analysis each election cycle in order to stay apprised of shifting voter preferences.
Tap into the Power of Comparative Data Analytics with Aristotle
As an award-winning data provider, Aristotle is the ideal partner for your PAC. We offer access to millions of consumer and voter data files you can use to conduct robust comparative analyses of target audiences. These insights can help you refine your decision-making processes and more effectively support your candidate.
Aristotle frequently partners with political data customers such as:
- Private and public pollsters
- Super PACs
- Grassroots advocacy groups
- Trade associations
- Media companies
- Nonprofit organizations
- Political consulting firms
We don’t just provide our clients access to timely and relevant data. We also offer a dynamic suite of reporting tools that enable you to put that data to work for your PAC.
Want to learn more about Aristotle and what it can do? If so, we invite you to schedule a demo today.