Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh


From Buenas Aires to Sydney and from New York to the  Brazilan Samba of Gort Co. Galway - today is the day to be green all over the world in order to celebrate a British Roman man; captured into slavery who went on to become the patron Saint of the Emerald Isle.

We know about his life and his works thanks to the records written by early Christian Irish monks. These monks of theLand of Saints and Scholarsprovide us with a rich source of data on the daily life and stories from the early first millennium. During the time of the Penal Laws, church records and horses were along the most important sources of data. Those of the Catholic Faith had to pay a tax to the Established Protestant Church and were banned from owning a horse worth more than 5£. Data collection evolved in 1821 with the first census organized centrally.

The 1841 census recorded revealed a population of the island of Ireland of 8.1 million. By the time of the next census in 1851, the population dropped to 6.5 million. A fall of 1.6 million: what happened? Where did all the Irish go? This population decline continued for more than a century until 1962.

The Great Famine stuck the country during the 1840s and from this decade, millions of Irish made the bold decision to emigrate across the globe: Australia, Argentina, South Africa, and America. For many of those, the first sight of America was Lady Liberty herself before being processed at the now infamous Ellis Islandimmigration center in NYC.

At Ellis Island and during these early censuses, only the simplest of data was recorded - name, age, sex and occupation. Fortunately, data collection is now more specialized and regular. The Irish census takes place every 5 years in Ireland which helps central government plan to plan health and education services for the future needs of the population. Although, the Minister for Local Government, James Tully cancelled the 1976 census to cut costs with the negative effect that there was no accurate data for 5 years!

For Irish-Americans in 2014 - their ancestors would be proud. Not only can they count numerous US Presidents among their ranks - Ronald Reagan, James Buchanan and JFK - Irish Americans are more likely have a higher education diploma; a higher income and better standard of living than the US average according to the  US Census Bureau. For brands, this is very important data because it allows brands to target this section of the population with higher standard product or service which commands a higher price.

We at Selligent have many years of experience helping brands to reconnect with their customers. Our technology allows brands to identify individual segments of the market such as Irish-American demographic and target them with specially designed direct marketing campaigns based on their needs and interaction with the internet.

Selligent's product could aid the Irish political parties to navigate their unique Proportional Representation system of voting. The Irish electorate have thwarted political parties from gaining an overall majority at times - 19611989 and  2002. While referenda have been won and lost on the tiniest margins. With Selligent, they would be able to target their brand to the electorate more effectively. They could obtain a 360 degree view of their support - segment the demographic; nurture their core support and interact with floating voters by a direct email marketing campaign. They could do this with Selligent who would provide them with the possibility to manage interactions with their brand on a multichannel level.

Data collection has come a long way since hermit monks recorded the works of St. Patrick in their annuals. The idea remains similar to this day: to record and to use it on a later date. Millions of Irish-Americans are using the censuses of Ireland, and the records of Ellis Island to research their family trees.

Here at Selligent will continue to make great advances in the area of data collection, analytics and exploitation in order for your brand to reconnect with your customers. Or perhaps for political parties to win seats in elections.

We have a lot to thank St. Patrick for - bringing Christianity to Ireland; making the shamrock a symbol of Ireland and also banishing all snakes from Ireland!

Happy St. Patrick's Day. 

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