Election 2016 Demonstrates the Need for Accuracy


What happened in Election 2016? Many people woke up to an election result that was shocking at the least. This is not an endorsement or condemnation of either candidate. What this article is trying to do is understand how the ‘experts’ got it so wrong. In the run-up to election day, one candidate was clearly predicted to be the next President. This was based on data, analyzed by experts. The error of their ways didn’t become clear until late into the evening on election night. That is when a shocked wave went across this nation, from sea to shining sea! How did they get it so wrong?

How Did They Miss the Call in Election 2016?

Now that the dust has settled, the ‘experts’ are scrambling to explain how they got it so wrong. You could see the shock in their faces on national television as the results of Election 2016 rolled out. Every prediction, every data point, was just wrong. It wasn’t even marginal. The problem is that those ‘experts’ were paid hefty fees to provide a service to clients who expected accuracy and demanded results.

When you look at the process, it was flawed. Data was being collected and analyzed in a flawed manner. They were not collecting data from all sources available. The sources of data were not being examined for reliability. Finally, these professionals allowed their reporting to be skewed by politically biased outsiders. The combination of these circumstances led to data that misled their clients and the electorate.

Responsibility for Accuracy

As Lean Six Sigma professionals, we understand that understanding and accuracy is crucial to effective analysis and reporting. We have an obligation to provide information and analysis that is properly vetted, examined and tested for accuracy. The proper implementation and use of Lean Six Sigma quality tools can and will produce the desired results. As always, the one wild card still remains the human factor. Lean Six Sigma professionals not only must use their tools with integrity, but they must not allow undue influence from outside or opposing voices to skew or taint their professional results. We have established trust in our profession and practice through years of integrity and focus. Let the lesson of Election 2016 deliver a hard lesson for all.