Method In Madness

Trump’s very presence is chaos, but a visualization of unstructured data such as the Presidential debates sure does help identify the ‘Method in Madness’. An Ivy League professor looking at Gramener’s  visualization of the 2nd Presidential debate said, ‘A remarkable way to break down and follow what often seems chaotic and random.’


At the CNN debate, with every finger pointed at him for the sex-tape controversy, Trump tried his best to deviate attention using his favorite fear mongering topic – ‘ISIS’. There were at least 19 instances where Trump mentioned ‘ISIS’ while Hillary had mentioned the same only 5 times or so. For more insights do play around with our visualization of the debate.

The Las Vegas debate on October 20th is do-or-die for Trump. Can Trump do anything at all to bring life to his dead campaign? Irrespective of the outcome, there’s going to be chaos at the debate – lots of it.

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Languages that cities love

We built a small tool that helps us recruit. It periodically pulls data off of Github for developers in India, and shows how they are connected. You can watch this 2-minute video to understand how it works.


This data also helps us understand how popular different programming languages are across cities. For example, if we take the top cities, based on the number of users (we’ve been fuzzy about the geography and included Colombo and Singapore into the mix)…


… and the top programming languages, again based on the number of users …


… it begs the question: is the popularity of languages the same across cities? Or are there certain cities that love or hate certain languages?

This is the distribution of programmers across these cities:


This does not readily lead to any insights. But we could look at this number differently. If all cities had the same distribution, then what would these numbers have looked like? In other words, how many developers of each programming language would each city have had? That’s shown below:


So, for example, Bangalore actually has 321 Javascript developers. But if it had the same percentage of Javascript developers as other cities, it would just have had 263 Javascript developers. So clearly, there are more Javascripters in Bangalore than you’d expect.

The numbers below show the difference between the expected and actual number of programmers.differences

A few things stand out:

  • If you’re looking for Javascript programmers, Bangalore and Mumbai would be the two places to visit. There are considerably more Javascript programmers here than you’d expect.
  • On the other hand, if you’re looking for Java programmers, you’d be much better off visiting Delhi, followed by Chennai and Bangalore.
  • There’s only one city to visit for Python programmers – Bangalore. The rest are scattered across the minor cities. (A closer look at the data reveals that a reasonable number are in Kerala.)
  • Colombo, on the other hand, looks primarily like a Ruby shop. The focus seems to be server-side development. Javascript programmers are much rarer than normal.
  • Gurgaon is the primary PHP hub. The city is under-represented in most popular programming languages, but has a thriving group of PHP programmers (a language that Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai seem to actively dislike.)
  • The biggest hub for iOS developers (Objective-C) is Singapore. Within India, only Pune seems to have a slightly larger than usual number of iOS developers – but that’s a meagre 20 programmers.

Whether you’re a start-up looking for your lead developers, or an IT firm recruiting open source geeks, or just a geek yourself looking for friends to hack with, we hope this gives you a idea of which city to visit next.

Making Public Service BIG with #BigData

3 Months back while the world was watching, amidst much hype, a new government announced its success with a lot of promise to one and all.

One of those promises was that of minimum government, maximum governance. This statement is as audacious as much as it’s succinct. The new government promises to reinvent public service, making it more efficient, introducing transparency and steadier and sustainable growth. With a government more tech-embracing than ever and the advent of fingertip technology to the people, a lot can be hoped. How much is achieved is yet to be seen.

To solve a problem, knowing the problem clearly is the key. This key is held by the huge loads of Data that we have hidden in the organizational silos of our government. At Gramener, we attempt to solve this problem through richer, better data-driven insights, making it available to the common Joe. The advent of Big Data in today’s world is not unknown. Big Data is a term that everyone is using today. From board rooms to college canteens, it’s now become the buzz in the more privileged world.

Making Public Service Big With Big Data

Fraud Detection

Some stats to put the problem at hand in perspective:

$314 billion is what India loses from tax evasion annually, depriving it of funds for investment in roads, ports and power.7 With so little revenue, the government must borrow more to fund a planned $1 trillion five-year infrastructure program.

$462 Billion is what India lost due to tax evasion, crime and corruption post-Independence.

Click here to see more on govt. spending.

The more startling fact is that this money is not only from the big-scale frauds that we read about in the dailies. Small, unreported frauds add up and form such bizarre numbers.

What if we could track these numbers to their last rupee like in the financial services industry? What if we could have systems to detect irregularities in each micro-transaction? Government should invest in the infrastructure to capture data from all corners of the government machinery to one place. Read about how the UK govt saved 33bn a year using Big Data Analytics.

How about Internal Security?

CCTV footages, RFIDs and scanner machines and other electronic data, although unstructured but when used with deftness, Wirelessly intercepted information, Internet browsing activities can really help extract useful information for analyses to detect crime, terrorist activities and tracking wrongdoers faster and easier and way more efficient.

Law enforcement agencies need to adapt to such practices for the greater good. This requires a conscious effort towards skill acquisition, training etc but it’s worth the effort.

Public Services

Ever thought of filling that form for your PAN-Card purely online and getting it at your doorstep without hassles. Ever wondered what it means to get updates about that skywalk in your neighbourhood, its status real-time on that smartphone like your Facebook notification.  With multiple sources of data and your details integrated into one place, your updates, services can be more and more personal.

Will there be a time when we realize the above is not a hypotheses alone? Lets hope our governments realize it soon. Watch this space out for some more thoughts on how having the data is the new necessity.