How BBC Visual Journalism covered Indian elections?

Shadab Nazmi
May 29 · 5 min read



Price calculator:






An interactive that uses the Consumer price index to calculate the price of a certain set of goods over the years. The main object of the project was to illustrate the price change of common goods between governments.


Presently there are two bodies that calculate the CPI in India. Data from both are not compatible with each other. Deciding which source to use for the project took time. After multiple checks and analysis, we settled on The Labour Bureau series because it gave us a broader time range for comparison.

Deciding what to show the audience went on into the production phase. Initially, we planned to only show price data based on the user’s input but in the end, we also added weight/amount data after the team agreed that it would be a value add.


Building on the Carbon Footprint Calculator we added a slider for the user’s input.

Since the project was based on a template, the translated words would fill in the blanks. This made it unrealistic to have simple one-word translations. The developers personally sat down with the translators from various languages to make sure the sentences that were formed from the template and the translated words made sense in the languages.

Party Manifestos:

As the parties put out their manifestos, we collated the promises from them into predefined categories like Jobs, Farmers, Income Support, Economy and Taxes, Education and Women etc. We used a pre-existing template and modified it to fit our needs.



Modi’s Report Card






A comprehensive analysis of all the promises made by the BJP in their 2014 manifesto. Our data team went through each promise manually to set its status. The process involved going through Parliament questions, official reports, and surveys to determine the progress. Each promise comes with an explanation of its status and links to sources of the information.

With around 30,00 words to translate, this was a massive project. Data analysis took almost a month and continued into the production phase of the project. This also pushed the translations as the content was getting added in phases.

The editors were thoroughly involved in the process and multiple checkpoints were created to go over the content.

We also added an extra document for the audience to explain why we only included 336 promises out of the 400 from the manifesto.

The scrollytelling introduction was a ‘Nice to have’ but it was still implemented parallelly with main functionality.


Social cards during Phase 1–7 that contained information on seats, voters and polling stations

Gif showcasing India’s electoral map since the 1980s


Animation, The journey of a vote

Video animation depicting how to vote in India


Punjabi —

Gujarati —

During election

Live Page:







Punjabi :





A dashboard that showcased the following information:

Over tally of the country

The Map element that gives you state and constituency level data

The Key Candidate element that showcases important candidates and if they are trailing or leading.

Finally the full alphabetised list of constituencies.

The design and content were revised multiple times that led to delays in development.

Home pages with the widget:







Tally on Social Media Lives

Social Media:

Templates for results, candidate profiles, and blank options for reporters

State level tally

Promo Images for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social platform

Automated result card generator

An automated social card generated for the over tally in all languages. Data directly from Cvoter.

Languages like Tamil and Telugu were breaking in some of the manual input — google drawings. The Automated tally generator solved that problem.

Liked reading it? If you want to know more, reach out to me at

Shadab Nazmi

Written by

Data Journalist at BBC. Used to run, now the web address is parked.

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