Gramener Boot Camp and Outing

A few times every year, Gramener gets to­geth­er to share what we’ve learnt, and train those new to the fam­ily. Last week, our Boot Camp was con­duc­ted across mul­tiple loc­a­tions for the first time, with the team con­nect­ing from Bangalore, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Jersey.

Gramener Hyderabad team at Boot Camp Nov 2016 Gramener Hyderabad team PMO session at Boot Camp Nov 2016

It was a packed two-day agenda:

  • On ana­lys­is, we covered our ana­lys­is of­fer­ings, Autolysis (our auto­mated ana­lys­is tool), and the Spectrum of Analytics, “From sim­ple pivot­ing to deep learn­ing”.
  • On tech­no­logy, we covered the on­line and self-hosted ser­vices we use for our in­fra­struc­ture, and on hand­ling large-scale data (in memory and in data­bases.)
  • On design, we dis­cussed Responsive Design, Data Infographics, D3 4.0 and its nu­ances, and our new chart­ing lib­rary Gramex Charts.
  • In our quarterly up­date, a key high­light as our Government work on Swacch Bharath, the Ministry of Commerce Trade dash­board, and Padma Awards.
  • Finally, we awar­ded the Knights of Gramener — the “Sparks” award for in­nov­a­tion, the “Design Artist”, the “Magician Analyst”, the “Safe Hands”, the “All Rounder”, and more.

On Saturday, our Hyderabad team headed out to Leonia and the Bangalore team to Guhantara to wind down.

Gramener outing Nov 2016

In all, it was an in­struct­ive and en­ter­tain­ing week for us — but that’s not all. We’d like you to join us as well. In a few months, we’re plan­ning a series of events (pub­lic data pro­jects, hack­a­thons, and train­ings) that are open to our cli­ents and the pub­lic. Keep a watch on this space.

A Data Scientist’s Laptop

What con­fig­ur­a­tion should a data sci­ent­ist go for?

A KDnuggets poll in­dic­ates a 3-4 core 5-16GB Windows ma­chine.

A StackExchange thread re­com­mends a 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD Linux sys­tem with a GPU.

Quora thread nudges con­verges around 16GB RAM.

RAM mat­ters. Our ex­per­i­ence is that RAM is the biggest bot­tle­neck with large data­sets. Things speed up an or­der of mag­nitude when all your pro­cessing is in-memory. A 16GB RAM is an ideal con­fig­ur­a­tion. Do not go be­low 8GB.

Big drives. The next biggest driver is the hard disk speed. But you don’t ne­ces­sar­ily need an SSD. If your data fits in memory, then most data ac­cess is se­quen­tial. An SSD is only ~2X faster than a reg­u­lar hard disk, but much more ex­pens­ive. (If you’re run­ning a data­base, then an SSD makes more sense.) For hard disks, lar­ger hard disks are also faster due to higher stor­age dens­ity. So prefer the 1 TB disks.

The CPU doesn’t mat­ter. Make sure you have more cores than data in­tens­ive pro­cesses, but oth­er than that, it’s not an is­sue.

However, one com­mon theme we find is that heavy data sci­ence work hap­pens on the cloud, not on the laptop. That’s what you need to be look­ing for — a good cloud en­vir­on­ment that you can con­nect to.

For ex­ample, this Frontanalytics re­port re­com­mends a ba­sic laptop with long bat­tery life, the abil­ity multi-task (i.e. mul­tiple cores), and a back­lit key­board for the night.

Maybe you just need USB port in your arms.

Damn. Not only did he not install it, he sutured a 'Vista-Ready' sticker onto my arm.

A side effect of demonetisation

How large is Rs 1,000 crores? Here’s a pic­ture.

What Rs 1,000 crores looks like

Two years ago, when ex­plor­ing the wealth of can­did­ates, we put to­geth­er a few visu­als to show how large a bundle Rs 1 lakh would form, all the way up to Rs 10,000 crores — in de­nom­in­a­tions of Rs 1,000.

Post the de­mon­et­isa­tion of these notes, we were amused to find that the top searches that led to our blog were:

  1. volume of 100 crore ru­pees
  2. in­di­an money 1000 bundles
  3. what is the size of an 1000 thou­sand crores
  4. height of a bundle of 1000 rs notes
  5. weight of 1 crores in 100 ru­pees
  6. one 1000 ru­pees weight

For those look­ing for the an­swer: the notes don’t take much space, but they’re quite heavy.