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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

53 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
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3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.