Hillary Clinton’s emails from her days as Secretary of State give us a unique insight into the both the woman and her office. While most of the attention has focused on the contents of those mails, I thought it would be fun to ask some more quantitative questions.
For instance, based on the frequency of those mails, can we determine how demanding the job of Secretary of State is? Can we see how well Hillary attended to that job? Most importantly, can we better understand the character and work ethic of a presumptive nominee for President of the United States?
For example, looking at the sent field of the emails and then looking for Clinton’s mail aliases (email@example.com, HDR22@clintonemail.com etc), we can see that 1415 emails sent by Secretary Clinton between April 13, 2009 and September 13, 2012 were publicly released. This is just a subset of Hillary’s total emails with most of the released batch from 2009 and 2010. Still, if we assume that the dates of the dumped mails were randomly distributed, we can use this sample as a good statistical basis for analysis.
Let’s start with the times of day at which emails were sent by Secretary Clinton.
We can see that there are emails sent at all hours of the day. In particular, we see a steady flow from 6am to 11pm. If we extrapolate email hours to working hours, that makes Hillary Clinton’s average work day was about 17 hours!
The same pattern holds on work weeks. Hillary sent emails every single weekday, with the highest percentage actually sent on weekends.
We can use the dates of the emails to get other metrics too. By looking at emails sent with “Re:” in subject line, we can calculate the amount of time between when a mail was received and when it was replied to, ie the reply time. Perusing this data, it’s clear that Mrs Clinton replied to most of the emails she received within an hour.
For reference, only 36% of customer service mails are replied to within 6 hours (https://www.internetretailer.com/2009/06/26/customer-service-takes-on-greater-importance-in-tough-times).
Based on the released data, I calculated an average e-mail reply time of just 7 hours, 6 minutes, though even this number is artificially high due to a couple of outliers (eg. emails replied to after weekends).
Love her or hate her, it’s clear from her emails that Hillary Clinton was a diligent and hardworking Secretary of State. It’s up to voters now to decide how this industriousness stacks up against her other qualities.
Source code for this analysis is available at https://github.com/taubergm/HilaryEmails