About the Factly Labs
About the Factly Labs
Started as an idea in 2014, it was in the mid-2010s that Factly moved into the Data journalism space, which was still in its nascent stages in India. By 2015, Factly had evolved from a blog to a company with an aim to transform the public information landscape in India by making data and information meaningful to people. Between 2016-18, Factly launched its own website and boosted the publishing of its in-house articles- this combination of the data stories along with YouTube videos helped Factly gain a foothold in the news media space through increased subscribers to its content. Today, Factly undertakes three broad categories of work - content production; tool-building; and consulting & training projects.
Factly Labs strives on developing and managing various applications that will increase access to public data and information by making it easy, interactive and intuitive.
Factly Labs will strive to democratize journalism technology.
Factly Labs is the technology wing at Factly that works on various solutions for Journalism Tech. Factly Labs was started to primarily address the technolgy needs at Factly, but we quickly realized that the solutions developed for Factly addressed similar problems across other media organisations. We also believed that the solutions developed for Factly would benefit media organisations of all sizes. We have since developed various open source projects and will continue to develop more solutions while building a vibrant open source community around these projects.
In 2005, India legislated one of the best ‘Right to Information’ laws in the world which changed the public information landscape and accessibility in the country. It was the first step towards transparency and accountability of governance. In 2012, India came up with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), popularly known as the ‘Open Data policy’ of the Government of India. In Spite of these systems in place, data and information remain in complex and overwhelming formats in the country. Some of the data that is meant for the public does not even exist in the public domain. Factly was born to create supporting platforms and infrastructure to bridge this gap and strengthen democracy through engagement.
Factly strives to cultivate civic participation and engaging citizens in accessing, understanding and using important government data/information at various levels.
Factly will strive to transform the public information landscape in India by improving access & understanding of the common public about important government data/information and evolve into a reliable and significant resource in the context of public information & governance.
What We Do
Data Journalism/Fact Check
Factly’s written and visual stories layout facts with evidence and help separate the wheat from the chaff in times of hyper-connectivity and constant information bombardment. The content aims to simplify public data & information that might otherwise be in complex forms. The fact-checks debunk viral misinformation and lay bare facts on the claims made by influencers.
Creating and developing tools that will increase access to public data and information by making it easy, interactive and intuitive. Counting India is Factly’s first tool in its beta version that focuses on accessibility and data visualization of Census-2011 data. Factly is currently working on other tools that are in the development stage.
Dega is a lightweight, scalable & high performant open-source publishing platform for small and medium scale news media organizations. The platform has various features built-in for fact-checking organizations. Dega supports managing multiple organizations and sites from the same portal. It is developed for modern web features with all the publishing best practices built-in. The tool is written in Go & React.
MandE is an open-source application to develop data portals to publish datasets in various formats. It provides features to publish private datasets and has e-commerce features specific to datasets. Datasets will be available for access as APIs and can be integrated with visualization platforms. MandE is written in Go for the backend and React for the frontend.
Kavach is an open-source identity and access management solution. It is a lightweight solution with features to manage organizations, users, permissions and can be configured easily to support applications required multitenancy. Kavach is written in Go, React and is built on ORY stack of services.
Bindu is a modern open-source Data visualization platform built on Vega, Vega-Lite. It provides the ability for analysts to create charts and dashboards from a rich set of chart templates. The access policies can be set at the chart level, providing ability to share it with a set of users or publish it for the general public. The backend for Bindu is written in Go and the frontend in React.
VidCheck is a web application that makes video fact-checking more standardized for fact-checkers, easy to read and understand for audiences, and scalable for platforms & fact-checkers. The application can be used in cases where claims being fact-checked are part of the video such as political speeches, news content, documentaries, any other type of commentary, manipulated content etc. VidCheck is written in Go & React
Parlens is a tool for searching data that is indexed from Indian parliament datasets.
Counting India (CI) is the first major application developed as an initiative of Factly Labs. CI makes data related to the States/Districts in India more accessible and understandable. The primary source of data for CI is the Census of India 2011 and other official sources. In CI, one can compare any two States/Districts side by side. One can also embed, access or download the data.
Advocating Open Data
Factly believes that for better public engagement with government data, the supply side also has to be strengthened. Factly actively advocates ‘Open Data’ policy to governments and agencies that house large amounts of public information. Factly collaborates and provides services to governments and institutions to release data to the public domain. Besides these, Factly engages with various stakeholders from across the ‘Open Data’ spectrum to build successful case studies & use cases. Factly also conducts training sessions on accessing, understanding & analysing public data to journalists, public policy enthusiasts, NGOs etc.
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