smart cities
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Building Smart Cities: The Data-Driven Way

In September 2016, we were invited to speak at the 4th year of The Big 5 Construct India 2016 in Mumbai. The conferences gathered the best of the construction industry and the latest solutions specifically tailored for the Indian built environment under one roof. In total, the conference featured 150 exhibitors (including us!) from…
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Why Mobile-Based Data Collection Is Here to Stay: An Interview With Kailash Karthik, IAS

From solving hard business challenges with IBM’s emerging markets strategy division to tackling complex civic problems as the Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil), Rangia, Kamrup District, Assam, Kailash Karthik’s career is a study in contrasts. As a young bureaucrat, Karthik says he was sold on the power of data and technology in aiding efficient…
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agriculture in india
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Data-Driven Decision Making for Agriculture in India

Though it produces surplus food, India is home to the largest undernourished population in the world. While the production of rice and wheat has grown consistently since Independence, the growth in pulse production has stagnated. (Pulse refers to dried peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes.) As a result, India…
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melt 2016
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MELT 2016: How Big Data Can Drive Big Decisions

This Saturday, August 27, we were excited to speak at ZEE MELT 2016, India’s biggest festival for creativity and innovation in marketing and communications. [email protected]_christine will be live at #ZeeMelt at 12.30 pm, talking about the superpowers of #data. #InsideSocialCops pic.twitter.com/X9nVX2sxEI — SocialCops (@Social_Cops) August 27, 2016 [email protected]_Cops Christine and you guys should…
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why visualize data
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Why Visualize Data?

If a picture is worth thousand words, then what about a neat data visualization? Displaying information in graphics to generate better insights is not a new phenomenon, but, with the advent of technology and increased access to data, it has become far more prominent. Once restricted to analysis of economics,…
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coup, turkey coup 2016
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What 66 Years of Data Tells Us: Another Coup in Turkey Wouldn’t Be Shocking

On July 15, 2016, a group within the Turkish Armed Forces tried to seize control of the Turkish government. The attempted coup ended a day later when forces loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan beat back the dissidents. Predictably, there was an explosion of news articles and commentary about the coup, its implications for Turkey, and how this…
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Real Numbers: Are There More Places of Worship or Schools and Colleges in India?

As we build SocialCops’ data repository, we keep creating data points and visualizations that demand to be shared. Our data newsletter, Real Numbers aims to bring this important data to you in simple bite-sized pieces. Over time, we’ll dive deep into our archives to cover everything from agriculture and education to…
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government
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7 Common Myths About Working With the Indian Government

Ministry. Secretariat. Collectorate. Panchayat Samiti. Sir. Madam. Sir. Madam. Meeting. Field Visit. Presentation. New Delhi. Nagpur. Noamundi. These are the words around which my life revolves currently. At SocialCops, we work on a large number of projects with the government. Typically, our data platform helps some of the most important…
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Real Numbers: This State Contributes Almost 40% to India’s Direct Tax Collection

As we build SocialCops’ data repository, we keep creating data points and visualizations that demand to be shared. Our data newsletter, Real Numbers aims to bring this important data to you in simple bite-sized pieces. Over time, we’ll dive deep into our archives to cover everything from agriculture and education to…
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A Guide to Quantifying Qualitative Data

The ways in which qualitative data can be collected and analyzed are virtually infinite. (Guest, MacQueen, Namey, 2011) Most current researchers and social scientists prefer quantitive data. Unlike qualitative data, quantitative data is easy to measure and analyze with a wide variety of analytical techniques. Moreover, most organizations require quantitative…
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mumbai local trains
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Mumbai Local Trains: Is the Western or Central Line Busier During Rush Hour?

Mumbai’s local train system is perhaps the most complex, densely loaded, and intensely utilized rail system in the world. At least, that’s what the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd. suggested in its latest passenger survey. The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Railways. Created in 1956, the…
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wifi coffee maker
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The Internet of Coffee: Our Experience Building a Wifi Coffee Maker

Here at SocialCops, we’ve begun using Internet-of-Things technology to research solutions for some of the world’s most pressing problems: monitoring pollution, conserving energy, protecting against identity fraud, and…making coffee. “[If we could] turn on the coffee machine via slack, we’d be set,” Christine wistfully wrote one afternoon on our #coffee…
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Real Numbers: How Many Drivers’ Licenses Are Issued to Women in Delhi?

As we build SocialCops’ data repository, we keep creating data points and visualizations that demand to be shared. Our data newsletter, Real Numbers aims to bring this important data to you in simple bite-sized pieces. Over time, we’ll dive deep into our archives to cover everything from agriculture and education to…
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indian railways
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The 270,836 Women Missing From the Indian Railways

Less than 6.7% of the Indian Railways’ employees are female. These missing women pose a major challenge to the company’s message of progress. The Indian Railways is bounding forward with modern advancements. It plans to use Twitter to issue customer complaints, an app for booking paperless tickets, handheld terminals for ticket examiners, a Google…
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The Data Behind the Indian Constitution

Happy Republic Day! Republic Day honors the date that the Constitution of India was ratified, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as India’s governing document. To celebrate Republic Day in true SocialCops style, we combed through data sources and the Constitution itself to investigate what the data shows about the Indian constitution. Here’s…
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cross tabulation
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Cross Tabulation: How It Works and Why You Should Use It

Cross tabulation is a method to quantitatively analyze the relationship between multiple variables. Also known as contingency tables or cross tabs, cross tabulation groups variables to understand the correlation between different variables. It also shows how correlations change from one variable grouping to another. It is usually used in statistical analysis…
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districts in india
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Why You Should Care About New Boundaries for Districts in India

India is currently divided into 36 administrative states and union territories, which are further divided into districts and more granular units. Districts in India are the third geographic layer for data dissemination after national and state-level setups. Many agencies — such as the Census of India, Reserve Bank of India,…
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Realm
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Why Realm?

Realm is a mobile database framework for iOS and Android. It is designed as a replacement for SQLITE and Core Data. I stumbled upon the Realm database while looking for a better database for Collect, our mobile-based data collection tool. It has a complex database structure for saving and retrieving of…
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2011 census
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A Step-by-Step Guide to the 2011 Census: Its Successes, Failures and Questions

This post is the third post in our Decoding Open Data series. The foundation of this series is our slideshare, which examines the open dataset and provides key insights and analytics about the 2011 Census.  Decoding Open Data: 2011 Indian Census from SocialCops These blog posts provide context around the Census…
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grant proposal
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5 Best Practices for NGOs to Ace Funding Grant Proposals

When thinking about data in the development space, images of field workers talking to their stakeholders — farmers, nursing mothers, and community meetings — and collecting authentic data through tablets, smart phones, or pen and paper come to mind. However, for many NGOs, data collection is often quite different. Many…
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culture
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How We’re Building a Culture Around Purpose, Learning, and Fun

We’ve built an incredibly diverse team over the last 2 years. Engineers, designers, economists, data scientists, marketers, entrepreneurs and even travelers (as part of our coveted Himsagar Fellowship) – all in one room. Not to mention a few different nationalities and an amazing mix of personalities. The youngest full-time member of our team…
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design
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Why Design Matters: Designing a Data Platform to Solve Problems That Matter

At SocialCops, we’re building a data platform to solve the biggest problems facing humanity. In the short three years of our existence, our data platform has been used to drive healthcare policy, optimize disaster relief operations, and solve urban planning issues. We were founded to solve developing world problems. This means our…
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