Times Now preps for Bihar election battle with 3 new data analytics salvos

MUMBAI: At a time when all national news channels are going in full throttle to win the ratings race as the high octane drama unfolds for the upcoming Bihar Assembly election day, Times Now has armed itself with technical innovations and three proprietary live analytic data tools namely Cluster, Firewall and Spectrum.

Starting at 7 pm on 7 November, the news channel will launch 36 hours of discontinuous live reporting led by editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. Along with a team of experts, Goswami will analyse the news, exit poll indications and results through exclusives and hard hitting interviews.

Joining Goswami on the panel will be experts such as Sunil Alagh, Saba Naqvi, Sankarshan Thakur, R Rajagopalan, Kumar Ketkar, Hartosh Singh Bal, Ajoy Bose, Arati Jerath, Shahid Siddiqui and Neerja Chowdhury.

Goswami decodes the three proprietary live analytic data tools one at a time. Speaking about them he says, "Cluster is a graphical tool, which analyses results on the basis of social, demographic or political similarities and the profile of a constituency. The second tool Firewall, gives live data analysis that tells you whether any individual constituencies are bucking the overall trend,” informs Goswami.

"For example,” Goswami explains, "if there is a constituency that, say, the Janata Dal has won three times in a row, it is a 'firewall’ constituency -- because for anyone to breach that constituency from the other side will be doubly difficult. So if the exit polls indicate that trend is being bucked, Firewall throws it up, with details of the candidate or party challenging the favourite, and the others in the constituency. While people do this kind of an analysis 10 to 12 hours after the results, on Times Now, it will be done live.”

The third tool in Times Now’s inventory is Spectrum, which has been designed to emulate the concept of a spectrum, putting the result out literally on a band and colour-coding it.

"For example, saffron for the NDA and green for JDU. So the band is colour coded, and as the results come in, the band gets filled with colour. So you can compare the band of this election to the band of last elections and visually a viewer can understand if colour-wise this election is looking like the last election or otherwise,” explains Goswami, adding that the info-graphic will simplify the exit poll analysis for the viewers.

Also keeping the channel on top of its game is its recently announced exclusive partnership with social media giant Twitter to launch a global video service. Understanding the need of the hour, Goswami has no qualms in even dumping full shows on the Twitter owned video curation service Periscope.

"In India, the PMO site and Times Now alone were chosen partners for global video launch of Twitter. In fact, I will be doing the first ever exclusive news show on Periscope, that will go live before the TV coverage commences this Saturday (7 November, 2015) evening,” Goswami reveals in parting.

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