Technology Aided Gut (TAG) Check: Emails and Influence

We all have gut feelings.

We all have gut feelings about our email exchanges.

  • Tom still has not responded to any of my emails.
  • I have not heard back after my second interview.
  • I am probably not going to get the job.

The list goes on.

Fear not, your gut feelings (at least about emails) are supported by hard science. For example here’s a great paper on how email usage reflects attentional differences due both to personal propensities and to work demands and relationships

In general people who you respond to more are the people who are “close” to you and those close people most likely have some influence over your actions. We use this idea to peer into Governor Jeb Bush’s mind (well technically his 3.4 GB email text, it’s 600 times bigger than the Bible!). We counted the people and the companies that have the highest email exchanges with the governor. Specifically the ones who the Governor wrote to. And we came up with the “Jeb Influencers”. 
 
For the technically oriented, the gory details are here.
 
What we have done is not data science. We did not use advanced data analysis or text mining AI tools to look at the data and then tell you a story or give you our insights. We believe we do not need to. You are very much capable of getting your own story from the data, if we can just summarize it nicely for you.
 
The emails contains the thoughts and actions of a man who could become our next President. It is important for the readers to make their own conclusions about him. We just summarize the data.


Originally published at blogs.dataunscience.org on July 24, 2016.

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