Gramener at IODC 2016 in Madrid


Gramener’s COO Naveen Gattu will be speak­ing at the International Open Data Conference 2016 to be held in Madrid dur­ing October 6-7.

Naveen will be shar­ing his valu­able and in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ence with Open data. His talk will also cov­er how Gramener has helped or­gan­iz­a­tions mon­et­ize open data and its im­pact on busi­nesses.

IODC is the es­sen­tial meet­ing point for the glob­al com­munity to de­bate and study the fu­ture of open data. It brings to­geth­er groups from across the world to dis­cuss open data strategies, use and im­pact.
Titled “Global goals, loc­al im­pact” the fourth IODC will re­con­vene the ex­pand­ing com­munity to show­case suc­cesses, con­front shared chal­lenges, and helps en­sure that the community’s vis­ion and di­verse ini­ti­at­ives con­tin­ue to co­ordin­ate ef­fect­ively.

‘The Sonnets of Shakespeare’ among best of the visualisation web – Andy Kirk

Data Viz ex­pert – Andy Kirk has lis­ted Gramener’s ‘Sonnets of Shakespeare’ visu­als as part of the ‘Best of the Visualization Web’ (for the month of April 2016).

The Nation wants to know what GRAMENER was doing at TIMES NOW – By Yash Raina

On a bright sunny morn­ing of 19th May in Noida, the stu­dio, the guests, the an­chors, the pro­duc­tion team were all geared up to present and ana­lyze the live stream­ing res­ults of the State Elections 2016.

While the for­tun­es were destined to be un­veiled for some of the biggest and the smal­lest names, the new comers and the break­aways, in some of the most in­ter­est­ing states/UTs of India – West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, there was one more team who was hop­ing anxiously with baited breath that their hard work and ef­forts meet its value. This was TEAM GRAMENER. 

TIMES NOW, one of the most pop­ular news chan­nel in India had teamed up with GRAMENER, more than 6 weeks back to cre­ate a first of its kind, power packed, in­triguing yet mean­ing­ful set of Visualizations to ex­cite and en­gage the audi­ence and pump up the TRPs.

These 6 weeks for the Team GRAMENER were full of learn­ings and ex­per­i­ences. A few firsts for the most of us– Seeing a stu­dio set, see­ing an an­chor, see­ing the crazi­ness dur­ing prime­time shows – all LIVE in per­son.

Now the ques­tion is, what all did we do and how was it re­ceived.

The first few weeks of dis­cus­sions with the chan­nel folks were all about the design of the prop­er­ties we scoped out – the things we presen­ted, the op­tions we offered, the col­ors, the fonts, the boxes, the charts etc. All in all, we could see thru mainly 3 sets of asks from them:

  • Everything needs to big and bold 
  • Everything needs to pop on­to the screen in an an­im­ated nev­er be­fore seen way
  • Everything needs to be in your face – the col­ors, the ef­fects

Anything that runs be­hind (the main crux, the de­vel­op­ment, the struc­ture, the pro­gram­ming) was com­pletely left to us to de­cide and take a call. No in­ter­fer­ence, no follow-ups, ut­most flex­ib­il­ity. While the op­por­tun­ity was huge and ex­cit­ing, it also had its fair share of risks – how would the visu­als con­struc­ted look on TV, how big an LED wall would it be pro­jec­ted on and would it really be in­tu­it­ive enough for the view­er to grab all that in a few seconds which we present on a single chart.

What ad­ded to the com­plex­ity was the tech­no­logy to be used for dis­play. What works on the Web doesn’t work on TV. Additional di­men­sions like col­or and con­trast re­pro­duc­tion, fo­cused light­ing in the stu­dio, all start to play key roles in the look and feel of the visu­als.

We can safely say that most me­dia net­works across the world use Vizrt for cre­at­ing graph­ics view­able on TV, which we clearly had no clue about. Since most of our de­ploy­ments are mainly on server based web links (which of­fers us the power of pro­du­cing auto­mated graph­ics with no hassle to the pro­duc­tion team), an in­teg­ra­tion of the visu­als with the Vizrt didn’t look like a pos­sible step for ex­plor­a­tion with­in the given timelines.

So the plan was to host our pro­duct on their loc­al sys­tem and plan a seam­less switch in the con­trol room on the Result Day. This in­deed was tricky. One of our team mem­bers would then sit thru the en­tire day on the 19th to mon­it­or and edu­cate the controllers/producers on how to ef­fect­ively use the graph­ics with the sev­er­al in­ter­ac­tions build in and sync it with the an­chor present­ing it in the stu­dio (and clearly the stu­dio per­son and the con­trol­ler aren’t sit­ting next to each oth­er so ima­gine the po­ten­tial chaos)

We can gladly say that sev­er­al risks were kicked out of the win­dow by the chan­nel team as they had enough faith in our art (the visu­als) and in their craft (the pro­duc­tion) on TV, as­sur­ing us time and again that we were col­lect­ively mov­ing in the right way for­ward. On re­flec­tion, the jour­ney truly has been re­ward­ing and of a true col­lab­or­a­tion between TIMES NOW and GRAMENER.

With the scope be­ing frozen, hence began our stream of pro­ject plans, de­vel­op­ment and test­ing pro­grams, mul­tiple it­er­at­ive re­views, con­tent dis­cus­sions and then fi­nally the ne­ces­sary con­fig­ur­a­tions for the GO LIVE. The biggest worry – Nobody knew what data would look like on the res­ult day. All left to fate! 

Let’s talk a bit about the Visuals:


SPECTRUM: a unique but sim­ple de­pic­tion of what’s fore­cas­ted versus ac­tu­als. Some seats are bas­tions of parties and their retention/losing is a strong meas­ure of their power in the state and the na­tion. Also some seats have juicy in­fo like sports per­son­al­it­ies fight­ing elec­tions, fly­over col­lapse, bribery cases etc.

image4STRIKE RATE: An ana­logy from crick­et, of a party’s per­form­ance rate based on the can­did­ates fielded. The more the wins by the party, the higher the strike rate.

Also pop­ularly known as our WINNER’s Matrix de­pict­ing the mar­gin again­st its closest com­pet­it­or (Lead %) and the pro­por­tion of the pie of the total votes (Vote Share %) of the Winner plot­ted along the time of the day in par­al­lel (vote count­ing).

ChordCHORD: One of the most com­plic­ated builds but the most power­ful visu­al de­pict­ing the trans­ition of seat share from 2011 to 2016 by parties. Which seats were re­tained or lost/gained from which all parties could be ob­tained in this graph­ic aes­thet­ic­ally rep­res­en­ted by the col­or co­ordin­ated chords.

what ifWHAT IF? : As the name sug­gests, what if a single party/alliance can’t get past the half way mark alone. What if it needs a few independents/ some smal­ler parties to shake hands with, to run the state? All these scen­ari­os can be be­st tackled by this neat and crisp visu­al that lets you in­ter­act­ively group parties to form a po­ten­tial post res­ult al­li­ance to form the gov­ern­ment.

CartogramCARTOGRAM: Practically a last minute entrant to the scene, this Visual is a sim­ple yet a beau­ti­ful rep­res­ent­a­tion of the map of the states with the seats taken – based on the col­or of the party lis­ted along­side with the tally

A few days pri­or to the Result day or as we can say judge­ment day, the news was up, the pro­mo videos were out on the chan­nel with the trail­er of the visu­als along with some shots of the Gramener team hap­pily be­ing cap­tured brain­storm­ing.

As far as how it panned out on the 19th, amid all the last minute hustle bustle with the setups, the de­vel­op­ment pushes, the test­ing, the run thrus, all we can say is that it looked – beau­ti­ful, ma­gic­al, a visu­al treat, lar­ger than what Team GRAMENER had ex­pec­ted on screens big and small, and Mr. Arnab Goswami left no stones un­turned in bring­ing life to these graph­ics thru his won­der­ful story telling. The rest as they say is his­tory.

Some Links to the videos:

& the audi­ence feed­back:

We would like to provide a sin­cere thanks from every­one at GRAMENER to the TIMES NOW chan­nel for put­ting up this faith in us and provid­ing us the op­por­tun­ity to make a strong mark in the space of Visual Data Journalism.

A big kudos to the TEAM GRAMENER for pro­pelling us for­ward. Many more suc­cess stor­ies to come!! Watch out.

We take back with us some great memor­ies and this: