Data Journalism–an excursion in Infographics

I recently completed a massive online course on Infographics and Data Visualization sponsored by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. I wanted focus this post on summarizing my work and learning from this 5 week course.

My prime intent to take this course was to understand the realm of Data journalism, learn and perhaps encourage few more like minded folks to work with me on WiseVoter.org. I experimented with several tools and I’ll show case my progression of work with Adobe Illustrator, Tableau and finally with the powerful D3JS library.

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Nurturing entrepreneurship in India’s villages – The McKinsey Quarterly – Nurturing entrepreneurship in India’villages – Strategy – Globalization

Nurturing entrepreneurship in India’s villages – The McKinsey Quarterly – Nurturing entrepreneurship in India’villages – Strategy – Globalization

“In general, villagers, particularly in the emerging world, have benefitted less from globalization than urbanites have.”

“Rural development is crucial for the overall development of a nation’s economy.”

“India should seek to empower its villagers and nurture entrepreneurial activity, while also taking advantage of its strengths in the private sector.”

Now wait a minute, what do you think of the following one –
“Outright foreign direct investment, by Düsseldorf-based Metro AG, for example, should be welcome, as should joint ventures, like the one between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores. Such businesses”

We struck gold, what next? Can we build Indian sports?

We struck gold, what next? Can we build Indian sports?

It’s a historic moment in the history of Indian sports. First ever individual sport gold medal in the Olympics! Abhinav Bindra has made us all of proud. United States has an450 men old Olympic team while the Indian contingent is just about 59! We might not have quality sportsmen to qualify for the big event but the hope of 1.1 Billion Indians is revived by this feet.

Some cynics remark that every 30 years India gets a gold in Olympics so the next will be due in 30 years. Do you think so? Can we do something to change the dire state of Athletics and Sports in general in India? Can we get the nation to think something more than Cricket? Of course all of the nation wants to think something other than Cricket but they need a pillar they need a hero to hold on to. Abhinav might be just it -? We the NRIs (right ? – I’m one now) give quite a bit back to the nation in terms of supporting education, aid during natural disasters etc. But how about if we have a Hope fund for Indian sports! Especially the individual sports? The idea is that this fund trains may 5-10 Indian sports stars from early on – gets them the appropriate coaching from abroad and nourishes their dreams and ambitions. We need more Bindra’s to make our believe in themselves and something must be done about it – more on a consistent, quality driven and citizen fueled approach.

A common result of such success it media hype and melodrama. We often have seen that we the desis fall so much to emotions and just get over-whelmed by feelings. The next steps , action and what we ought to do is usually missing! And thus our circles of misery and overjoy continues :). So what could be the next step to promote more athletics in India. Among the NRIs and at least in North America is very popular to try endurance sports like Marathon, Cycling etx. Usually these events are coupled with fund-raising – so how if we associate these events with the cause of moving the state of India sports one notch up. Concrete how if on the Marathon event we invite one of the athletes from India to participate. Usually a fund raising marathon team is about 40-60 people. So if everyone contributes $75-100 we have enough to sponsor an Indian athlete to participate in the event!!! What do you think of the idea?

World Economic Forum – India and the World Scenarios

World Economic Forum – India and the World Scenarios

So thinking on a global level!! Preaching to solve world problems! well so what the hell World Economic Forum does? Rallies the confederation of industries in every nation? Do we really have numbers on effective measures by such organization?

Anyways the link points to the scnerios which deam the future of India for next 25 years on two axes – Integration with world and Inclusive growth and development. This slide was used by Microsoft India MD to lure back folks of Indian origin to Microsoft India from the Redmond campus. The strong points he made was that India’s 65% GDP is from Individual spending and Microsoft will get to 1 billion $ revenue share by 2009. Well! yeah and come back to India for glory and family!!

So to the point – what do the axes say? To me it makes no sense. If India makes “Integrated development” Then i think the battle is won!! Integrating the varied and diverse cultures in India itself is a bigger challenge than integrating with world! Infact i would contest that its a superset of the world challenge!!

India – Vision 2020AD!

I wish to start this blog by pointing folks to the detailed vision of APJ Abdul Kalam to make India a developed Nation by 2020AD.

In an India striven by many controversies APJ’s book presents a vision acceptable to majority of Indians. The Vision Of Equalling The Progress Of The S0-Called Developed Nations In Our Life-times. This brings us to the point that is this possible? Who will do it? I dont want to the answer the question of wether this is possible as the book mentions a lot about it, but really do we have an option? Hope for achieving the success which eluded the nation is the hope for happiness for each Indian.

As most of us have realized our culture and problems are unique. We are culture so divided (on religion, food, festivals, calendar, etc!!) that its really difficult to say what an Indian cultural stereotype is? The only thing which truly binds us is poverty, hunger, lack of resources, belief in SuperNatural powers and belief that someday it will all be good!! So yep! is the “all good” end possible without each one of us contributing to it? Can we expect magical powers to feed soon to be 150 crore Indians? So yes there is little for each one of us to do.

So am i talking about benevolence and giving? Hmm..not really, those things dont really succeed to uplift of a society in long term. I am talking about driving a cultural change, en-visioning a culture which supports and nurtures bold leaders. Indians get really poor grades on team work, and this is something which most culture have inbuilt in them. We realize that the divide and rule paradigm combined with the numberous divisions based on caste, religion, belief …. have been driving culprits to make sure we never get what team work is about. So lets think about how we can bring changes to build team work in our culture (yes! after numerous futile attempts to run away from it I have to identify myself as India:)). I am sure that most of us have really great ideas for get the team thing in our breed. This post is meant to be a starting point for the same discussion. So lets be the change which we want to see …. bring our skills, motivations (whatever they might be… including moentary profit) and identities to build a developed nation in our life times!!! Its we who bear the burden.

cheers,

Vaibhav