Thursday, September 17, 2015

Android Apps Statistics - Google Play Store - Sept 2015

One with Special interest in mobile apps, I have been tracking Apps on Google play for a year now.

I've tracked close to 1.7 million apps on Google Play Store. As of 14th Sept'2015. There were 17,00,835 apps on the Play store which my crawler could find.

There may be some more newly launched apps which don't show up in Search or Similar Apps Section on Google Play. It's hard to find these as crawler couldn't trace these easily. So total apps launched on Google play may be around 1.75 millions.

1.42 million apps are live now while 280K apps have been removed by Google from Play Store for some reason!

82% of the live Apps have less than 10,000 downloads.

About 1% of total apps have more than 1 million downloads! 

This is where everyone wants to be :)

As per AppBrain (17th Sept 2015) there are close to 1.7 million apps on Play Store. So I'm sure my estimations are pretty accurate!!

Appbrain guys are still counting the dead apps.. as only 1.42 million apps are live and downloadable!

Comment below if you wanna know more about these stats and need to compare your apps w.r.t. others in the category or the Store.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finding Duplicate Voters of Delhi

News flashed about a political party claiming that there are duplicate voters in the voter lists of Delhi. They even showed a few samples on their Facebook and Twitter Accounts.

Is it really the case? I wondered. It certainly can be! Just about every organization struggles in having a single version of a person's identity, be it customers, leads or even its own employees. Even largest online social networking platforms have duplicate and fake profiles. So there is no surprise if the voter lists too have certain number of duplicate or fake voters.

After all these are updated by thousands of government employees, which keep adding, deleting and moving voters from one list to another; even the technology, which is used to store the data, keeps changing, resulting in duplicate and erroneous entries.

Being a professional in analytics industry, I regularly deal with data sets where there may be numerous duplicate or erroneous entries, which need to be removed before some meaningful reports can be generated. So I decided to try my hand in finding the duplicate voters in Delhi's voter lists.

The task was challenging and interesting, and it had to be done! Just imagine finding duplicate voters scattered around in 11,763 voter lists contained in more than 4,00,000 pages. It certainly can not be done manually. Even though the the volunteers of a political party tried to do that, I read.

I used my technology expertise and proceeded with the task. The steps I took are described below -

1. I downloaded all the pdf files (11763 in total) from the website of election commission, by the web-crawler I wrote sometime back.

Pdf file format (Illustrative)

2. Converting the pdf files into text/html files using opensource pdf libraries. Ex. xpdf and pdfminer.

Extracted text file from a pdf file (Illustrative)

3. Parse the text files to extract the voters information in flat file format. Ex. CSV or TXT files.

Parsing a text file to columnar format (Illustrative)

The third part was the most challenging. It took about a weeks late night coding efforts to figure out a way to extract the data and arrange it in columnar format so that it can be pushed in to Databases like MySQL.

There were many improvements, which had to be done during this time to handle the errors, which were present in PDF files.

The result of the task was amazing. I got the details required to find the probable duplicate voters of the NCT of Delhi.

Distribution of number of voters by Age - Delhi

The data in columnar format enabled me to find out duplicate voters across constituencies. The voters which had moved their residences and got new voter ID cards but didn't surrender their old cards, were filtered out in an excel file.

The results were shared with the political party which was interested in the task of finding and removing duplicate voters to strengthen the Democratic process in India. This whole exercise helped them in making a strong case with Election Commission to scrutinize the voter lists and remove the duplicate voters as far as possible !!

Acknowledgement :)

Now the Elections in Delhi are to happen on 7th Feb'15, I hope that the best candidates get elected and people get a stable, inclusive and progressive government.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fascination with POS systems !

Every time I head into an Apollo pharmacy to buy medicines or baby stuff for my daughter, I make it a point to check their billing desktop, trying to see, exactly what is there on the screen as the sales person asks me for my mobile number so that he can credit the points earned by purchasing medicines/items into my account. I have even tried to inquire about the software they use for billing and whether the same system is used across the thousands of Apollo pharmacies in India.

The fascination about knowing the software used on the retail pharmacies grew a bit further and I even asked at Guardian, 98.4 and few other pharmacies in Sector 30-31 and Sector 49 of Gurgaon. There was always a new question to the retailer whenever I saw any pharmacy using a software to manage the sales transactions. They answered as well as they can, in some cases they just told that they know only this much and don’t have any further information. However, my curiosity kept on growing and I started asking about, how many products do they have in their pharmacy, how do they input the medicines names, prices and other details in their system. I came to know that Apollo has a centralized database of the medicines and other utilities and every pharmacy outlet just selects the items available with them and updates about the quantity available. They also extract information about the sales amount across different categories like medicines, utilities and returns on daily or weekly basis.

I could realize the strength of the system when I needed the bills of all the medicines purchased in last one year, so that I can submit all the bills for tax rebate on medical bills of up to Rs. 15, 000 which my company allows. Even though most of the pharmacies do provide a slip of items purchased, I didn't have them all with me. So, I just inquired at the Apollo Pharmacy, if I could get the bills from my Apollo account? The helpful person at the outlet, asked me for my mobile number and told me to come in the evening to collect the bills. I went in the evening and got a big role of paper bundled by a rubber band. I was surprised that I have purchased medicines worth over Rs. 10, 000 in less than a year.

Thanks for the software system on the Apollo pharmacy, I could get all the bills for my office use.

This experience got me interested in all the desktops kept on any sort of merchant outlet, so be it local grocery shop or easyday outlets. I made it a point to see which software/hardware systems are being used at the sales counter. The machine used by our neighbor shop has a tough name – it had “bizerba” written over it. In a rather free afternoon I asked about the price of the machine and if this is connected to the PC which was kept beside it and whether the whole system was connected to internet. The boy on the sales terminal told that the machine is a second hand item and it had cost over a lakh rupees. The machine is not connected to the PC and they manually enter the daily sales, item wise from a slip which the machine prints. I thought - won’t it be nice if the machine is directly connected to the PC?

Next I checked the easyday market sales/billing terminals. They have “wincor-nixdorf” POS system. The name was tough and I could not remember it for many times I saw it. Finally I could remember the name and searched about it. The interest has led me to believe that POS systems have more potential than just billing the items and printing a receipt for a customer. The internet dimension to these POS systems can really change the Customer interaction with the merchants, business owners and the persons at the shop-floor and billing terminal! There will be a day when I’ll not have to go to get my bills from the outlets… I’ll have them in my mobile with a tap on the screen.