What the Obama team did was little short of amazing. It essentially created a cohort-analysis system of data to judge every single voter it wanted to get to the polls. Obama’s team took the usual system of analytics and reduced it to the most granular level: the individual voter.

The analytics campaign, led by chief analytics officer Dan Wagner, was able to assign voters individual scores based on if and how they would vote. In doing this, Wagner’s team could accurately predict human behavior.

“But underneath all that were scores describing particular voters: a new political currency that predicted the behavior of individual humans. The campaign didn’t just know who you were; it knew exactly how it could turn you into the type of person it wanted you to be,” wrote Technology Review’s guest contributor Sasha Issenberg.