In big news on the government data and transparency front, the premier provider of federal campaign finance information, Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), have announced they are opening for bulk download 20 years worth of data used to power their web site OpenSecrets.org. More than 200 million records are being made available of itemized contributions, campaign spending, lobbying, personal finance, and sponsored travel. CRP began tracking campaign contributions in the late 1980s. Their stats and staff are trusted and quoted by the Media as the gold standard reference.
The ability to analyze information and use the results to make more informed decisions is something that interests a lot of people. Developers, publishers, and small to large business owners all collect an overwhelming amount of data pertaining to the work that they do. Employing a staff of analysts to sift through the onslaught of what can sometimes seem to be useless information is obviously one way to solve this problem, ‘Machine Learning’ is another.