The form of data

Lost in transit
Image Source: Evaluation Toolkit for Magnet School Programs

The classroom
As part of a high school statistics project, our teacher gave us a form to collect data about customer automobile preferences. We had to analyse the data collected, and present it as a report.

While some were honest enough to actually go and get the forms filled, there were quite a few students who were getting dummy data filled by other classmates.

A few years later
I was walking near a market when a lady holding a bunch of papers asked me if I could spare a few minutes to answer questions about potato chips. She filled the fields of the survey form with my answers at great speed — a great time-saving skill, no doubt.

However, when one of my answers seemed unfavourable, she said ‘Oh no! I can’t record that.’ And then, she changed my answer!

* * *

Statistics form the core of almost every article we read. But behind numbers like 83.7% and 4.8 million, there is data collected by field staff.

While statistical reports talk of error margins, how reliable is the data on which they are based? It is hard to tell. Can we improve their quality? Definitely.

One of the projects we have had the opportunity to work on in the recent past, addresses this very issue.

Before we jump to the solution, here’s a look at the problem in a little detail.
Data typically goes through several stages before becoming a meaningful number — capture, display, interaction and analysis.

Data Chain
The typical data chain

Data capture, more often than not, involves paper forms. And paper forms have several inherent problems.

The first is the time lag between when the data is captured, and when it is available for analysis. The second problem is that of data integrity. Forms filled in manually are susceptible to errors during data capture, as well as during data transfer, as illustrated in the two real scenarios mentioned earlier. The third, and perhaps the most critical problem, is that of data authenticity. Paper forms can very easily be used to generate false information.

Raw aggregated data – typically tabulated – is not user friendly. It requires filtering in order to be useful for decision and policy making.

All this seems a lot like a game of Chinese Whispers. By the time the data can actually be analysed, it may lose its value.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could skip a few steps? As it happens, that is how technology can help. This was the subject on which our CEO, Mr. Sunil Malhotra recently spoke about at the 124A Bilateral Training Programme of International Centre for Information Systems and Audit (organised by Comptroller and Auditor General of India). While interacting with the delegates of FBSA, Republic of Iraq, during the session on Disease Surveillance and the Role of Technology, Mr. Malhotra emphasized the need to shorten the data collection timeline, as well as ensure integrity of data, through the use of mobile technology.

Here’s an excerpt from the companion presentation, explaining the common challenges involved in data collection, as well as how mobile technology can help solve them.

Stay tuned for the next post, detailing our own working solution!

Social Apps – the small ideas, BIG Difference

We hope you had an opportunity to read our previous post on Social Apps. Carrying on from there, we thought we’d share with you some examples of Social Apps (apps using new-age digital technology and mobile apps to offer aid for emergency situations or Social causes) we came across and really liked.

These are three examples in three very different contexts. What qualifies them to be a part of this list together is that they are simple and relevant enough to make you wonder – “Hey why didn’t I think of that?!” – and have the potential to really make a difference. Or as we like to call it – #smallideasBIGDIFFERENCE.

So without further ado …

1. The Casserole Club

Arguably most might think that sharing food with those who can afford to order it out does not qualify as a Social Cause. But the potential of this idea combined with its simplicity is what makes it a part of this list. In their own words –

Casserole helps people share extra portions of home cooked food with others in their area who might not always be able to cook for themselves.

Casserole was born out of a desire to help bring communities together. There are a lot of people cooking food and many others who would greatly appreciate a home cooked meal. Our goal is to connect the two.

You can read up more on their website – http://www.casseroleclub.com/about. How it works is, you simply update whatever you’re cooking for the day on their website. The site builds up a menu of the various food updates for the day and anyone looking for a home-cooked meal can take their pick and order from the site. Eliminates food wastage and helps people staying away from home get a simple home-cooked meal. If this isn’t a neat Social App idea, then what is! If you’re from India you can just imagine the potential of something like this for the thousands staying by themselves away from home and craving “Maa ke haath ka khaana” – Mom-made food!

[Incidentally and its funny how these things work – came across this tweet just before posting this article :-) ]

2. Notfound.org

Another very simple and very brilliant idea. Which site does not after all serve up a 404-page every once in a while. And when there is no way you can control that, why not at least donate your 404 page for a greater good and donate it to notfound.org!

Across the European Union, thousands of children go missing every year. Thanks to the NotFound project, you can make a difference. Install our application and a picture of a missing child automatically gets published on every ‘page not found’ of your website.

The idea can be extended to so many different social causes. Wish it were applicable in India too. We would’ve gladly donated our 404 page! Dear Satyamev Jayate team, are you listening?!

3. Babajob.com

This one is a start-up operating right out of our own country – India – where understandably the need is greater. A focused job portal aiming to connect people from the middle and lower income group with employers looking for trustworthy, qualified workers. Job information in the informal sector usually spreads through word-of-mouth and technology intervention here helps job seekers find out about jobs they could not have known about otherwise and for employers to increase their range of finding trustworthy workforce. A great idea which helps people from lower strata of society find livelihood and improve their living standards!

Babajob.com is a web and mobile start-up dedicated to bringing better job opportunities to the informal job sector (cooks, maids, security guards, office helpers, etc.) by appropriately connecting the right employers and job seekers via the web, mobile apps, SMS, the mobile web and voice services.

Babajob was born as an experiment by Sean Blagsvedt, his step-father Ira Weise and Microsoft colleague Vibhore Goyal, to leverage the web, the mobile and social networks to accelerate the escape from poverty. It is an experiment — a possible solution to provide all levels of job seekers more with job opportunities while efficiently helping employers find suitable employees.

One look at their site though and you can see people using the site even for some more main-stream jobs like Sales and Marketing. The site provides a mix of web and mobile technology with ample human intervention to enable even the uneducated. We have not used the service ourselves yet but do plan to whenever we have a suitable opening and urge you to do the same. Do share your experience with us.

There are also other sites like “Rozgar Duniya“, “Village Naukri” and “Rojgar Mantra” we came across that help people from villages or Rural India look for employment.

[Translations for non-hindi speaking readers – Rozgar/Rojgar means Employment ; Naukri means Job ; Duniya is World]

Do let us know what you think about these ideas and share with us any other that you came across and found interesting or are working on yourself. We’d love to know more about them! We are especially interested in ideas where smart phones and smart apps are innovatively being used to provide help in the social sector.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Award Winning Case Studies @ Cannes Lions 2012

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a global event held annually at Cannes, France. It took place from 17 to 23 June this year. The festival showcased some fantastic ideas and work from several creative professionals around the globe. We bring you some of the best work in interactive, digital, design and smart technology space that we found really interesting.

 

Augmented Mobile Experience

1. A Shadow QR code, that works using the sunlight’s shadow to give people a unique lunch shopping experience. This campaign won the Direct Lions Gold Award.

httpv://youtu.be/EvIJfUySmY0

2. BAND-AID Magic Vision: Featuring the Muppets, a mobile AR experience that turns any ordinary BAND-AID Brand adhesive Muppets bandage or box into a stage for interactive entertainment so that kids forget the pain and enjoy. This campaign won the Mobile Lions Gold Award.

httpv://youtu.be/FE2I6G2_ogk

3. An augmented reality (AR) app created to help find the best students while giving them a taste of what life is like as a Medical Officer. This campaign won the Direct Lions Gold Award.

httpv://youtu.be/oUNm_n61maU

 

Innovative use of Technology

4. An annual report that could only be read under sunlight. Crafted by mixing right ratio of the photochromatic colours, in order to render the report all white under artificial light. This campaign won the Design Lions Grand Prix Award.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cahedLjFSmw

5. VIP experience for loyal customers of Red Tomato, by giving them fridge magnets in which with a press of a button, it would automatically place an order for their favorite pizza. This campaign won the Mobile Lions Gold Award.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFji6MbyxOI

Innovative Technology for mobile

6. Google partnered with Coca-Cola to create a mobile app that lets you gift a Coke can through a special vending machine anywhere across the globe to a stranger. This project won the First Cannes Mobile Grand Prix.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Z-GevoYB8&feature=player_embedded


Ideas that can make a difference

7. Catching people while they’re already bleeding, by putting a simple marrow registry kit into a box of over-the-counter bandages, and turning an everyday act into a chance to save a life. This campaign won the Grand Prix for Good Lions Award.

httpv://youtu.be/ZG8NxjlyUxU

8. Minus One is a simple, one-step initiative to save fast-disappearing forests. A green initiative by Samsung Printers. This project won the Media Lions Silver Award.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KThJoYt4ml8

9. American Express created Small Business Saturday, a new shopping day right after Black Friday, to help small businesses get more customers. This campaign won the Direct Lions Grand Prix Award.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIYHjs1vEAo

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Predictions for 2012 – Ideas of the week 30 Dec 2011

This is the last post in our series of ‘Ideas of the Week’. Since this is also the last blog post of the year, we thought we can end the year by sharing with you some predictions for 2012 that we have been reading and find interesting. So here goes, without much further ado …

Predictions for 2012

1.Web design

a) The Definitive Guide To HTML 5

2.  Mobile+Technology

a) Best Tech Predictions Of 2012
b) Twelve Mobile Predictions for 2012

4. Social Networks

a) Five social network predictions for 2012

5. Internet networking + Cloud computing

a) Nimbula: Cloud Computing Predictions for 2012
b) Networking 2012: Analysts predict what’s ahead for the industry

6. Marketing

a) Internet Marketing Predictions for 2012

This week’s post compiled by Bhaskar

 

Ideas of the week 23rd-Dec-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

 

1. IBM: Mind Reading machines will change our lives
Minds+Machines+Lives

In five years, we’ll simply be able to think something, and a computer will respond. That’s the vision from IBM. which just published its “5 in 5” ³ forecast, which attempts to predict five technologies that have the potential to significantly change our lives in the next five years.  More

2. City Fireflies, An Urban Video Game Whose Screen Is A Building
Video Game+ Computer Vision technology+ Smartphones

City Fireflies is a simple game that looks like tons of fun: Players cluster in a plaza in front of a large video screen showing a grid of 8-bit-looking “enemy” characters, which is superimposed on a live video image of the physical plaza itself. More

Read More: City Fireflies

 

3. LYTRO: The Biggest Thing To Happen to Photography Since Digital
Innovation+Camera

This Camera couldn’t  care less about focus . Lytro’s Technology is pretty simple. With this camera you can focus anywhere in the picture, change the light levels – and presuming you’re using a device with a 3-D ready screen – even create a picture you can tilt and shift in three dimensions. More

 

SEE ALSO : Lytro Camera Interactive Gallery Lets You Try The Magic Yourself [PICS]

 

4. 4 Big Trends for the Future of Sustainable Tech
Planet+Trends+Sustainabilty

 

Saving the planet and cutting down on emissions is a good thing, but who says you can’t have a little fun while doing so?“Sustainable” and “green” tech can seem boring, but the next generation of technology isn’t just good for the planet – it’s pretty darn cool to boot. More

 

5. Photographer i is a new interactive magazine designed specifically for the Tablet
Tablet+ Interactive+Photography

Photographers i is a new tablet magazine The magazine offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at photography, covering every genre possible – outdoor and studio photography, photo-journalism and fine art, editorial and portrait, and more. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Sanchaita Dey

Ideas of the week 16th-Dec-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

1. Design by Nature
Design+Design Thinking

In the minds of designers and those who have a soft spot for design, Maggie Macnab is perhaps, a household name, especially when it comes to concepts and ideas behind meaningful visual messaging. If you think you learned a lot from reading her other comprehensive volume, ‘Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in a Visual Communication’, then be prepared to make room for what you will gleam from ‘Design by Nature’ when you give it the chance it deserves. More

 

2. Apps For The Environment
Apps+Mobile+Environment

Last June, the Environmental Protection Agency launched a competition called Apps for the Environment, to find new uses for its data, much of which either never sees the light of day, or is poorly presented or difficult to understand. More

You can also find all the submissions here.

 

3. Ford Teases 2013 Fusion With Logo Recognition
Ford+App+Branding

Ford has launched an iPhone and Android app that is activated by pointing the phone’s camera at a Ford logo — either on a car, online or even printed on a piece of paper. When the app reads the logo, it activates a 360 degree version of the new model, which you can use for a virtual driving course. More

 

 

4. A Crossword Puzzle That Doubles As A QR Code
QR Code+Marketing+Idea

Filmmaker Christian Svanes Kolding sees an opportunity for QR codes to be more than just lame marketing tools. More

 

 

 

5. Your Car Is The Next Advertising Battleground
Contextual Advertising

Those hours you spend driving each day will soon be interrupted with contextual advertising, pointing you to that Starbucks around the corner or the McDonald’s just down the street. More

 

 

 

6. The Cult of Ideas
Ideas+Innovation+Design Thinking

The Cult of Ideas is a dangerous cult lurking within the field of corporate innovation. It is a disturbing cult in which members worship massive numbers of ideas above all else. Sadly, however, the ugly truth is that the cult of ideas can stifle creativity and inhibit innovation. More

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the idea of the week at our Garage Sale

Real-time Proceedings Manager

Easily manage any last-minute changes to the sequence of your event – be it the speakers or the presentation. More

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Nitish Sharma

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ideas of the week 9th-Dec-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

 

1. 10 proven strategies of high performance team![Info graphics]
Strategies+ideas

Who drives product innovation? The answer is small, entrepreneurial development teams – better known as “agile teams” in the high-tech industry.More

 

 

 

 

2. Call Earth-Eco Dome,Superadobe built from local earth filled Superadobe coils(earth stabilized with cement or lime).
Idea+construction

Cal-Earth’s mission is guided by three principles: (1) shelter is a basic human right, (2) every human being should be able to build a house for him or herself, and (3) the best way to provide shelter for the exponentially increasing human population is by building with earth.More

 

 

 

3. WalkSafe-A pedestrian safety app
Innovation

This Android app uses your smartphone’s camera to sense oncoming traffic, then alerts you to get the hell out of the road..More

 

 

 

 

4. Creative – CV
Innovation+design

A great showcase design post of some truly creative and inspiration CV designs which for sure would blow away any potential employer.More

 

 

 

 

5. Learn a language for free, and simultaneously translate the Web.
Web+idea

Duolingo is a beta/experimental website that aims to crowd source text translation. One intended incentive for the users to take part is that they learn a language.More

Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately – all for free.

 

________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the idea of the week at our Garage Sale

Interactive Marketing Collateral

Quality and product features are increasingly considered a given. In such a situation, your Sales guys can add value by giving the customer a way to ‘virtually’ experience the actual product.More

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Bhaskar Das

Ideas of the week 2-Dec-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

 

 

1. You can now have green feet, or shoes rather.
Biodegradable

Oat Shoes, a brand new Amsterdam-based initiative that’s combining shoe design and biodegradable materials. Once you’re done wearing the shoes (after a very long time, of course) you can bury them in the garden, in the compost heap or even plant something in them. More

 

 

2. Videoinfographic: The world of social media
Social Media

This video info-graphic shows all the latest facts & figures about various social media sites. More

 

 

 

3. Let this website pick your poison
Design + Web

Drinkify is a web app that purports to find the best drink to go along with the band or musician you’re listening to. Just enter the band name and let the app do the work; some names will yield strange ‘drinks’. More

 

 

 

4. For beer brand, A  website made up of chocolate
Design + Web

For the launch of Sagres Preta Chocolate  a stout beer with a chocolate flavor by Portugal’s number one beer brand Sagres-digital agency Grand Union created the first website made of chocolate. More

 

 

 

5. Philographics: Explaining philosophy through basic shapes.
Philosophy + Design

Designer Genis Carreras explores with remarkable visual eloquence in his Philographics project – a series of posters each capturing a single philosophical ideology through simple geometric shapes.More

 

 

 

6.  Recycling a bottle, flashmob style
Recycle

This interesting flash mob takes place in a food court emphasizing on recycling waste. More

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the idea of the week at our Garage Sale

Virtual Guide : Installation & Maintenance

A tool to help the on-field trainer collect the right training instructions for the day. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Karan Guglani

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ideas of the week 25th-Nov-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

 

 

1. Chevrolet Speedometer Design – a design evolution over the last hundred years
Design+Usability+Experience

Speedometers are those kind of items you look at thousands of times during your life, without ever really noticing. You notice the speed, not the meter. And if you do notice the meter chances are you don’t realize someone actually designed it. The company probably even did some research beforehand. Research regarding the readability of typefaces, the right size of the numbers and the space between them. More

 

 

2. After Trying To “Kill Math,” An Ex-Apple Designer Aims To Kill Reading
Design+HCI

Bret Victor thinks that text itself should be as interactive as graphics or apps. And he’s built an open-source Javascript library to help the idea catch on. More

 

 

 

 

3.  Condition ONE iPad App Makes War Reporting Visceral, Terrifying
Augmented Reality+App+News+War

The main feature of Condition ONE is its augmented-reality-esque interaction design. Instead of watching documentaries in a tiny, static video window, Condition ONE plays back full-screen video that you can literally pan and tilt around in by moving the iPad around in physical space. More

 

 

4.  Mercedes: Blur
Marketing+Idea

A brilliant marketing strategy used by Mercedes to launch its new Mercedes-Benz 2012 C-Class Coupe. More

 

 

 

5. Computerised contact lens will keep you up to date with news and texts
Augmented Reality+Tech Innovation

Until now, the concept of info-vision had belonged to the realms of science fiction. However, scientists have developed a prototype lens that could one day provide all kinds of hands-free information. More

 

 

 

6. Aparna Rao: High-tech art (with a sense of humor)
Art+Technology+Humor

TED Talks Artist and TED Fellow Aparna Rao re-imagines the familiar in surprising, often humorous ways. With her collaborator Soren Pors, Rao creates high-tech art installations — a typewriter that sends emails, a camera that tracks you through the room only to make you invisible on screen. More

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the idea of the week at our Garage Sale

WhizPhone

A product that helps you manage all your incoming calls – receive, reject or send calls to voicemail – depending on the time of the day or the person calling you. More

 

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Nitish Sharma

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ideas of the week 18th-Nov-2011

This week’s post for the Ideas of the week featuring ideas that might change our world.

 

 

1. The classic arcade game- Asteriod gets a modern spin
Technology+Innovation

Asteroids, has now been given a futuristic make-over by eye-tracking and eye control specialist Tobii. Built as a free-standing arcade game, EyeAsteroids players use only their eyes to aim and fire a laser at flying rocks and save the world from impending pulverization More

 

 

2. The learner’s shoes
Learning+Technology

Studies in learning patterns show that even children are quite comfortable exploring different pathways  if they are provided with the right resources to do so. The ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment was one of the earliest to catalogue self learning in young children using free technology resources. The journey from there to the iPad used by very young children to explore learning in an environment has been varied and interesting. More

 

 

3. Enter the world of Nat Geo
Augmented Reality+Innovation+Technology

Appshaker recently launched a unique way for people to interact with the amazing world of National Geographic Channel’s content from around the globe.People could immerse themselves in different scenes such as dolphins, leopards, space landings, dinosaurs and other amazing things. More

 

 

4. Eye-tracking computer interface for the disabled
Technology+Innovation

The Eyeboard system is a low-tech eyeball-tracking device that allows users with motor disabilities to enter text into a computer using eye gestures instead of a physical interface. More

 

 

 

5. Providing products and services for the so-called bottom of the pyramid
Innovation+Mobile Technology

Movirtu is a for-profit social enterprise that provides innovative mobile technology and business models for wireless telecommunication service providers in rural poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It enables shared access to basic mobile-phone services for people earning less than $2 a day. More

 

 

6. A visualization of tweets that happened on 11.11.11
Innovation+Design+Technology

This clip is a visualization of all the Tweets mentioning 11:11 on 11.11.11. Each “1” is a location that moves with the conversation on Twitter. Their scale varies depending on the volume of Tweets posted from the location they represent. You can see the main wave move from right to left, and then a second one that occurred at 11 p.m. around the world. More

 

 

7. Benetton’s  ‘unhate’ campaign
In The News

The Italian clothes company launched a campaign called ‘Unhate’ in which leaders from opposite sides of the political and religious divide appear to exchange kisses.In a moment of darkness, with the financial crisis, what’s going on in North African countries, in Athens, this is an attitude that can have positive energy.More

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile the small idea at our Garage Sale

Product Selection Guide

A step-by-step product configurator that finds and suggests products based on the need specified by the user. More

 

 

 

 

This week’s post compiled by Karan Guglani

Enhanced by Zemanta