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What UBER driver taught me about Analytics?

Source | LinkedIn : By Ankit Sharma

My alarm went off at 6:00 AM on a Friday morning and after snoozing it for about half an hour, I finally managed to drag myself out of the bed. As I sipped hot tea, I followed the sad tradition of refreshing office email feed on my phone. Not that I expected to see the happiest emails early in the morning, but one email with the subject-line – “Required Value Proposition Document for Advanced Analytics”, set my mind on the track of bewilderment. I asked myself:

“How can one ask for value proposition of Analytics. Isn’t it the most obvious thing in the current times?

Isn’t it already transforming the industries across the globe?

Isn’t it most desirable skill-set in the market today?”

My answers to all the questions were a big bold ‘Yes’, but my mind was looking for an explanation which was beyond obvious. Little did I know that the UBER ride I had just booked will give me my first explanation beyond the obvious.

I booked an UBER from Noida to Delhi @7:49 AM/ got a 4.5 rated driver, Rakesh. The trip started at 7:59 AM. Since I did not want to sleep again, I started a conversation with Rakesh about ‘How UBER drivers are crazy about ratings’. Thankfully the driver turned out to be a chatty character with a lisp and a pure native tone. Now his was a particularly interesting story.

The story and the problem:

Rakesh had joined UBER few months ago with base in Noida. Everyday, he would switch on the Uber app @6 AM to become available for riders. He was very excited during the initial few days, but as the days progressed, he saw his enthusiasm fall and his ratings tumble. He reached below an average rating 4 which is considered quite bad for an UBER driver.

The reason:

It did not take him long to figure out the reason. He was either cancelling or not completing too many trips from Noida to Gurgaon. As per him it’s not monetarily beneficial to ride such long distances (drivers lose incentive for not complete ‘x’ number of trips in a day). 

Shown below is an example of how an incomplete trip can lead to lower ratings. This driver was rated 1 star because he stopped the trip midway (at Sikanderpur  in Gurgaon, map below) citing some fake reason for not dropping me to my destination Noida. Perhaps, Rakesh was doing the same and hence ended up getting ratings below 4 consistently.

Read On…

 

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