Gramener & Republic TV Partner to Cover #GujaratElection2017

Mumbai, India, December 11, 2017:

Under the campaign, #Dec18WithArnab, Republic TV has lined up exclusive coverage of the Gujarat Elections 2017 in the week leading up to the counting day and on counting day, with programming to bring the most insightful and real time coverage. The special election coverage will be powered by Gramener. Gramener will help enhance the visual look both on-air and online to present the data in a constructive and meaningful manner.

Gramener is a data science company that handles large-scale data via non-traditional analytics and visualizes it in real-time which helps identify the right questions and draw out insights. The company forayed in visual data journalism in 2013 and has since conducted multiple projects in visualizing election campaign data with clear number-based analyses, including national elections in 2014 and multiple state elections since then.

Anand S, CEO, Gramener said, “We are excited to partner with Arnab Goswami and his team and would bring our Data Science expertise to sharpen the editorial Gujarat election analysis with cutting-edge Analytics & Visualization tools in a real-time environment for Republic TV.”

Naveen Gattu, COO at Gramener said, “We look forward to work with Republic and to present exciting data stories, interesting patterns, and correlations in real-time backed by powerful editorial narratives to make the election coverage, simple and insightful for the Republic audience.”

Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief & Founder, Republic TV said, “The Gujarat Elections are strategically important as they will set context for the National Elections in 2019. We are delighted to work with Team Gramener once again and look forward to cutting-edge analysis and sharp visuals provided real time for the Republic audience.”

Republic TV’s election coverage will be telecast on air and will be available on the website, and the Republic TV app.

The Curious Nature of Names

When looking at the names of candidates for assembly elections in India, we found something curious. Here is the list of names, and how often they occur.

Om Prakash478
Ashok Kumar411
Ram Singh362
Raj Kumar294
Anil Kumar271
Amar Singh248
Mohan Lal235
Ram Kumar224
Babu Lal218
Ram Prasad213

There have been 478 people named “Om Prakash” that have contested in elections. 411 Ashok Kumars. And so on.

It’s natural that many people share the same name. Some of these names are popular. That wasn’t what surprised us.

What surprised us was this plot of the rank and frequency, which is nearly a straight line.

This is a log-log plot of rank versus frequency. The rank of the name on the X axis. The number of times the name occurred on the Y-axis.

What this means is that top name is as much more popular than the 2nd as the 2nd is more than the 3rd, and so on.

We find this pattern everywhere

Here is the same plot based on names that appear in Bollywood movie credits

The relative popularity of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Shakti Kapoor, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and so on are very close to a straight line.

This is a plot of student names in the Tamil Nadu.

Again, nearly a straight line.

Why is this?

Popularity breeds popularity

Our theory is that people’s choice of names is not unbiased. Popular names tend to be more favoured.

Another way of looking at it is this. Say I know 10 people.

  • 4 are called Asha
  • 3 are called Bindu
  • 2 are called Chitra
  • 1 is called Divya

There’s a 40% chance, all things being equal, that I will name my child after Asha.

We don’t know if this is all that affects our naming. But it does appear a strong factor.

Gramener did not work on exit polls

We were surprised to find images and messages on social media mentioning Gramener was associated with exit polls for the ongoing Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections.
We haven’t been involved in any exit polls for the December 2017 elections.
We do work with media during elections. We’re partnering with Republic TV this time. (Stay tuned to Republic this weekend.) We also worked with Network18 in February 2017 to visualize exit poll results.
But in December 2017, we have not been involved in any exit polls.