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Data Visualization

A Data-Rich Look Back at the French Election

France’s recent presidential election was a close one–and closely followed–with new public sentiment polls released almost daily. When candidate François Fillo lost his lead after some negative press in April, and Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen moved to the front of the pack, MicroStrategy teammate Laurent Lee A Sioe saw the opportunity to use data to draw a connection between news and poll results.

He put together a dashboard featuring publicly available poll results, spanning January 1, 2017 up until the run-off election on May 7 (which Macron ended up winning). To find this publicly available data, Laurent did a simple Google search on "French presidential polls results.”

Using the dashboard he created, you can go beyond the headlines to get a better sense for the dynamics of this tight race and see how candidates fared in polling and voting trends in the last legs of the election. The added layer of context provides a clear view of spikes and valleys in voter sentiment. For example, we can easily see that after François Bayrou withdrew from the race on Feb. 22 (sondage 50) and announced his backing for Macron, Macron’s support climbed. 

Laurent built the dashboard with two tabs, one providing an election overview and another zeroing in on candidate information and ranking. For visualizing the election overview, a line graph proved most useful. If you look closely, it's not time on the x-axis, but poll ID (“sondage”), ordered by date. Because the polls were so frequent, almost daily, this category behaves the same as time would (the measurement typically used in a line graph). Indeed, using the actual date would have put some poll results on the same day and rendered the graph difficult to read.

Take a look at each tab and see what insights you can uncover. Laurent’s goal: to inject visualization and intuitive navigation into the process of researching election results. We think he nailed it.

Want to learn more about how data visualization can be used to draw insight from public information? Check out our white paper on digital transformation of federal government.

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