Fun with Data

I like data. when I used to be in corpodom – I would analyze tons and tons of data, trying to see patterns that would give us a competitive advantage. Unlike most in my company, when viewer ship figure came in, I would ask for raw data – trying to find things beyond the obvious.

Today, I was looking for data for a column, and i just stumbled upon the Google Public Data Explorer – spent a nice hours looking at interesting visual comparisons.

Time taken to start a business – How does India stand vis-a-vis the BRIC countries, developed nations (Have only included the US & Germany in this) and the rest of the world.

The data is from the World Bank, Development Indicators.

I would hate to start a business in Brazil. And, I am surprised that it takes more days to start a business in China rather than India. And, India has improved – from 89 days in 2003 (we started our business that year) to 29 days in 2010 (we started our second business in 2009 – the film business).

High Technology Exports (as a % of Manufacturing)


It is interesting to see how China has overtaken the United States slowly but surely. And, that gap is widening. Both Brazil and Russia do better than India. I am not sure if there is any policy in place that looks at addressing this.

Internet Users as a Percentage of Population

While Indians are the third largest population grouping on the net, the number of Indians are a tenth of the population. It would be interesting to know how many of these net users are regular – how many of them use the net beyond e-mail. Facebook says it has 38 million registered accounts out of India, but that doesn’t tell you level or nature of activity.

Adolescent Fertility Rates – births per 100 for women aged between 15 to 19

This is an abysmal figure, vis-a-vis India. And, going beyond the fact that these barely educated girls are becoming mothers – and will continue to be in the reproductive phase for the next 2 decades (at least), it also reflects poorly on the state of women’s rights in India. Compulsory Education. Compulsory enforcement of the age of marriage. Religious leaders -across the board be damned. This figure needs to go down. Else India will, literally, screw itself out of resources.

Agricultural Land

That is a seriously large %. I wonder how growth will be sustained if less than 40% of the Land is usable for other purposes including industry, cities and habitation. This figure is especially worrying, when you compare it to the Agricultural Value Add (As a % of GDP).

not the best – serious amounts of land being used inefficiently … and both China and the US has 7 times more land. the US has a third of our population.

5 Replies to “Fun with Data”

  1. The stat on agri land is in a sense misleading – China is a much larger country (i.e. lower pop density). I guess a more appropriate stat would be acres of agri land per person? Also the stat on high technology exports is unfair to China which has a huge export base relative to its GDP. Why not just high technology exports as a % of GDP?

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