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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee held its first-ever data bootcamp on Thursday — one of the first steps in the Party's massive effort to leverage tech and data to do things like reach unregistered minority voters and rethink their voter files data management

Why it matters: Data skills are becoming the lifeblood of modern campaigns and, after getting crushed 2016, Democrats are hoping an overhaul of their tech operations will prevent that from happening again in 2018 and beyond.

This is a turning point for the DNC, said Liz Jaff, a political strategist for the committee.

“One-and-a-half years ago you wouldn’t have seen these kinds of projects being presented at the DNC."

After 2016 she said the group realized they need to be learning from everyone.

The details: The three-day summit was focused on training people who are interested in becoming data managers and directors and could be deployed to campaigns and state parties across the country.

  • Their goal is to make state campaigns as digitally savvy as possible, teaching staffers and volunteers everything from basic proficiencies (database management) to building predictive modeling.

Be smart: It doesn't help campaigns to have endless data if they don't know how to interpret it. "We really want to bring data science to the masses," said Raffi Krikorian, the DNC’s chief technology officer.

Democratic divide: Some people at the bootcamp viewed the DNC's tech focus as a way to bridge the Bernie/Hillary divide. Rapi Castillo, one of the leads of Coders for Sanders, said he was "so surprised" the DNC invited him to be a keynote speaker. "Now it feels like the DNC is open to how progressives are challenging the current status quo," he told Axios.

What to watch: This is the start of DNC Chair Tom Perez's "Best Practices Institute" to help Democrats share solutions to common challenges. Other bootcamps will continue past the November election on topics like communications, organizing, and tech training.

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.