This election has been a very public example of how data can be used to make predictions & decisions. It has also shown how those decisions can still be wrong. Nate Silver, who perfectly forecasted the results of every state in the 2012 election, has been criticized for being so wrong this election. (As a side note Silver’s website FiveThirtyEight has several podcast episodes about the long history and current usage of polling data in politics.) He has subsequently defended the value of polling data saying that the data helps to give the probability of different outcomes but it does not definitively say what will happen. Hillary Clinton was never guaranteed to win, it was just more likely based on the data.
It would be unfortunate if the general public’s next exposure to data analytics would be four years from now. One of the biggest obstacles in self-service business intelligence is having a data illiterate user conducting the analysis. You can give everyone access to an app but if most of the people don’t know how to analyze the information they are presented (or care to) then you won’t get very far. If there is a positive data-centric take-away from the election it's that perhaps more people may become more data literate.