March 27, 2014

The flaws in our Security System!

Hi Guys,

A few days back as I was at Chennai Egmore to board a train home. There were a flock of people entering the station and the Railway security personnel stopped us and asked everyone to open the baggage. As there was no scanning device, they had to search manually. When I enquired, they said it was as per the order to the Election Commission. It took some two extra minutes for me to get in.

Most people didn’t expect it to happen, but none were at discomfort too. It was a smooth check. Simultaneously, my thought process took me to another world. What if a person wanted to take excess money in his baggage at this point of time? Is there any possibility? I figured out there are lot of easy ways. He could just walk in through the other entrance. He could come through an electric train. He could board the train at another station. There are no security checks anywhere. These are not tough to think and it came to my mind in a matter of two minutes.

Another serious doubt that came to my mind was how come the security personnel never thought about these steps. Apparently anyone who would like to smuggle would not come straight through the front gate unless he is an idiot. Are the checks done in order to stop smuggling or is it done for just a show off?

This doubt has been in me for a long time. A few days back when I went to C.M.B.T (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal) in Koyambedu during a festive time, strict checking was going on at the entrance. But, I came through a bus and it just went inside. So, there was an easy way in. Two years back when I went to Madurai Railway station to send off my brother before Diwali, strict checking was done in the main entrance. After sending off, I came via overhead platform directly outside and there was no checking (the same platform could be used to enter the station as well).

All these incidents create a sense of panic in me as to how prepared we are? Whenever you see news that strict checking are done in Public places to avoid any untoward incidents, you feel safe. But, when you see the quality of checking, a sense of fear creeps in. And most of the checking is done during festive season expecting an untoward incident. But, if you see the pattern in the past, untoward incidents happen on the most unexpected days.

When I think so much about the quality of security, God has been kind with us that not many major incidents have happened. I hope that the Government realizes that namesake security is as good as no security and the efforts are ramped up.

Happy Reading!

March 23, 2014

Redefining Cricket Telecast using Analytics!

Hi Guys,

It has been a long time since my last post.  This time writing it from the comfort of my home and typing in a traditional Desktop Key Board after a long time.

If you have been following World Cup T20 in Star Sports, you would have noted that Star Sports is providing viewers with lot more details than usual. You get a huge analysis of data about the pattern of a batsman’s scoring rate in particular overs and against a particular bowler of a category of bowlers. You get the same type of details for a bowler and also for a team. You are also provided with the line and length at which a batsmen hits or bowlers takes wickets.

This is completely an innovative move on the side of Star Sports to provide viewers with the analytics that only teams had. Another important thing out of the whole analysis is that Star Sports is providing meaningful pattern out of the data available.

In today’s world, you have a whole bunch of data. More often than not, analysts tend to slice and dice the data without finding any proper meaning in the data. As long as you do not get meaningful patterns out of the data, there is no use of Analytics.

From what Star Sports has done, you get meaningful pattern out of the existing data. You tend to know how good a batsman is in the initial 10 deliveries, how effective he is against seamers, which is his favorite area. So far, a few teams might have analyzed to this extent. But, now this opens the door for everyone and strategies can be easily designed based on the analysis. This removes decision making based on gut feelings.

The disadvantage though is that the analysis is based on matches played after either 2010 or 2012 which means the sample size (or population) is too low and you cannot come to a conclusion based on this data. There are many other factors like the pitches played in, the quality of bowlers or batsmen and external conditions.

Despite the disadvantages, this is a great move from Star Sports to provide a far more reliable prediction than the earlier versions of plain analyses.

Happy Reading!