Archive for August, 2012

Aug 29 2012

Our Consultants present on Big data Analytics -at Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore

Aaum consultants presented on big data analytics today at Singapore. The presentation featured a  few interesting analytical slides  performed for a  State Government’s crime bureau.

A copy of the presentation is shared at Q312 Big Data Seminar SG Case Study Aaum

Any questions/feedback? Mail them to

Aug 24 2012

Assessment of NREGA wage disbursement in banking system

Assessment of NREGA wage disbursement in banking system


AAUM Livelihood has partnered with IITM’ RTBI (Rural Technology Business Incubator) and collaborated with MoRD (Ministry of Rural Development) to know the effectiveness of wage disbursement through banking system. Thiruvalluar district was chosen to appraise the current bank linked wage disbursement practices.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a job guarantee scheme enacted by legislation on August 25, 2005 with the aim of providing 100 days of unskilled labour in a financial year to adult members in a rural household willing to do unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.137. The program also tries to bring about gender equality as most of the beneficiaries are rural women. The law was initially called National Rural Employment scheme, but was renamed in 2 October 2009 as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Post 2008,it was decided to pay the wages to the beneficiaries through banks and post offices, however in Tamil Nadu payment through banks was not adopted. In May 2012, the government decided to adopt banking practices and one Panchayat was chosen to be linked with the bank for wage distribution in all the blocks of the TN districts. This pilot approach was adopted to know the shortcomings to effectively administer across all the places.

Most of the beneficiaries are not aware of the different procedure of the banking system. Hence the Panchayat officials helped them in opening accounts. Some beneficiaries however were able to open bank accounts by themselves. Inadequate transport facilities to the bank were also a hurdle for beneficiaries. The illiterate people and most of the elderly people were dependent on others for withdrawing money from the bank. The beneficiaries prefer direct payment than the baking system as it is more convenient and reliable. They also accepted the idea of BCM (Business Model Correspondent) when it was explained to them.

Most of the BDOs (Block Development Officer) have expressed their opinion that the banking system would be the appropriate mechanism for disbursement of wages. However a few bottlenecks have to be cleared to make it more attractive to the people.

A meeting was conducted by the Cholavaram block on 21st June 2012.for cluster Incharges. The meeting was conducted to improve the overall performance of the MGNREGA programme. Cluster coordinators from 37 Panchayats were present along with overseers and engineers. The participants who represented the Panchayats unilaterally expressed to the assessment team that the beneficiaries wished to continue the present system of direct cash payments as there are difficulties in accessing and understanding the complexities of the banking system. The cluster coordinators responded positively to the BCM model in their respective Panchayats.  It was also suggested that cluster coordinators could create awareness and provide training about the banking system to the beneficiaries.


The assessment team visited Palavedu Panchayat in Villivakkam block on 22nd June, 2012 to assess the BCM model that was being experimented in the block. The person who handles the BCM machine called a “Field BCM” is appointed by the bank and handles financial transactions of SHGs (Self help Group), OAP (Old Age Pension) and other government linked wage programmes. They also observed that the process involved in BCM was relatively simple banking procedures.


SWOC Analysis


 A wage payment through banking systems enables the entry for the common man into banking system.

BCM model are successful.

Banks within the reach of the beneficiaries is acceptable to beneficiaries.

Increased the saving habits.


 People have to travel between 3 to 7 kms to access bank facilities.

Around one day labour wage is being invested by the beneficiaries to collect the wages from banks.

Panchayat has to play the lead role in training.


Extending BCM model to every Panchayat.

Creating awareness through local media on banking systems and BCM model.

Providing functional literacy on banking systems.

Involve CSOs to orient beneficiaries.


Elderly people have to be assisted in banking systems and procedures.

Inadequate staff strength with banks.

General dislike on banking systems and institutions.

The beneficiaries are not against the banking system, but they find it difficult to accommodate themselves with it due to the remoteness of the banks, ignorance of procedures and time delay. The beneficiaries accept the BCM model due to its proximity and less procedural nature.

The assessment team recommended that the BCM model has to be extended to every Panchayat for the effective implementation of banking services to NREGA beneficiaries. The local media can be used to create awareness of the BCM model so that it will be acceptable to the beneficiaries. Providing functional literacy on systems and procedures has to be linked with MGNREGA wage payment through banking systems. The Panchayats have to initiate intensive drive to educate the beneficiaries on the banking systems.


Aug 4 2012

Track and Boost the circulation of Print media publications with the power of analytics. Know how?!

It is as vital as the circulatory system in a human body for its successful functioning, the circulation department and its functions are of paramount importance for the success of any print media publications. It holds the sole responsibility for your publications availability in the market through which loyal readership is attained. It is one of the prime factors to set the advertising rate which is the lifeline for any publication.

Our data scientists performed exhaustive research and due diligence on the various studies and related works to develop finesse in the print media industry on the challenges in newspaper circulation they might face and want to overcome in the digital age. On contrary India emerging as the leader in terms of newspaper circulation as published by World Association Newspapers by 2011 gives a fodder for thought to look into the other contributing factors of increasing literacy, urbanization and the fall of  circulation due to online media content in developed countries .

Indian newspaper industry is not too far to follow the path as their international counterparts to embrace the technological advancements to be competent enough in the macroeconomic situations across the globe. In order to standardize the transformation or to stabilize in the existing market the industry needs insights because the newspaper is considered the most perishable commodity perishable in a few hours.(thanks to information from FM/Radio, TV, Internet, Mobile phone, etc, etc.)

In order to gain a fair large share of the readership despite your appropriate content, vast coverage, detailed approach, appealing look and feel and cost there are factors like quick distribution, right time reach that are very crucial. This is attributed directly to the circulation department. Besides the key people should know the real time scenario on what happens where, when it comes to circulation. So they can make the right decision either to embrace technological advancements or to implement systems for sustained growth of the organization and to stay ahead of the competition. This equally is attributed to the circulation department’s responsibility.

There would be a well defined administrative hierarchy to do the submission of market reports or an external tool used to view information as dashboards to the management. To create or achieve this efficiency you need data; to collect, collate, analyze and develop actionable insights. The circulation department would also face bottlenecks to obtain the factual figures to adjudge the performance of the newspaper in terms of circulation by collating the data from the managers and distributors pertaining to a specific Region, Zone, City, Area to the very root of newspaper stands, roadside teashops selling newspapers or to even a 12 year old who puts newspaper on doorsteps in our daily life scenario.

Only when the data becomes available there would be a processing to make it a meaningful report. If we further analyse a step below the top line circulation managers and their directly reporting subunits it is nearly impossible to quantify the actual circulation in real time.

Although the data becomes available at every single unit the efficiency truly lies in recording it so it is retrievable at any given point of time. Organizations would spend in state-of-the art technology, systems in order to achieve this efficiency but might not be able to scale up to the peak of collecting every single important data available due to system limitations.

If made available the super sauvy system it occurs in organizations where the system is not put to use to its fullest capability. Or to do so would see organizations to additionally invest on tech-specific workforce. Data Latency is an added woe which occurs due to the physical distance between the report generators and the last point of contact for significant data so it becomes more or less unavailable. The process of analyzing the data and defining a statistical approach again demands workforce with niche capability; the capability to transform mere data into data driven insights, which of course is not the core focus of the circulation department. Here the line of Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investments on the tech-sauvy systems becomes blurred from the management perspective.

In most of these critical situations an external agency with advanced analytical competence would come to help in handy. There are ways to streamline the internal systems by arriving at well defined KPIs, stretching the data capture through various modes ensuring no critical data is missed at any unit of circulation. The stress is so much on this data because it is the one which helps organisations to make the paradigm shift and take right business decisions.

To know about more on advanced analytics and competitive intelligence and how you can achieve performance excellence through them please write to the author