The Road to the White House Goes Through the Cloud


Today’s Presidential campaigns have the technical sophistication of a modern enterprise, the constrained environment of a startup, and a relentless time frame. Political rhetoric may get air time, but data wins elections. Political operatives use data analytics to target communications, identify supporters, garner donations, organize field staff, drive voter turnout, and predict outcomes. In this session, Microsoft’s Campaign Technology Services team will discuss: its role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaigns; the Iowa Caucuses and the party conventions; our customers’ adoption of Machine Learning, various Azure data platform tools, and the broad implementation of Power BI visualizations.

Joel Cochran

Joel Cochran is currently serving as a Technical Evangelist on the Microsoft Civic Technology Services team. Joel was born in Virginia, grew up in Iowa, and graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. After serving in the United States Army, he moved to Florida where he fell backwards into a job at a software company. Before long he was a software developer on the IBM AS/400 platform. After moving back to Virginia a few years later, he worked for a micro-ISV writing software for local governments. This period led him through a wide range of technologies such as RPG, DB2, Java, Perl, PHP, MySQL, Linux, and more. In 2003, Joel discovered C#, .NET, and SQL Server, and has been dedicated to the Microsoft stack ever since. Over the years he has ranged through a variety of web, desktop, and database development tools and environments. An accomplished writer and speaker, Joel loves to teach and was a 6-time Microsoft MVP prior to joining the company. He lives in Harrisonburg, VA, with his family, and is an avid pool player.