GO-FAST: The Data Behind Ramadan
During this holy month of Ramadan, millions of people are starting on another day of complete fasting — no water, no food, and no kopi.
By Crystal Widjaja
During this holy month of Ramadan, millions of people are starting on another day of complete fasting — no water, no food, and no kopi. At this time, we sustain ourselves on a different type of sustenance: spiritual renewal and reflection with our family and friends. Even for those of us who do not take part in fasting, Ramadan serves as a reminder to give and share with those who are in need. This spirit of giving and sharing aligns with GO-JEK’s own mission to create social impact for our community, its citizens, and our fleet of over 300,000 drivers. This year, we could see that GO-JEK had become a platform for those who are able to contribute their own social impact during the Ramadan season! The data was compelling enough that we wanted to share with our community the good that everyone has done and the spirit of Ramadan that is reflected in all of our daily lives.
The Value of Spiritual Reflection
A Time for Prayer
Geographical data tells us a lot about a community and its priorities. To understand how Ramadan influenced the everyday GO-JEKER, we took a look at where people travelled to and from after iftar (the breaking of the fast).
By comparing the geographical data four weeks before Ramadan versus the week of Ramadan, we found clear indications of the “Ramadan Effect” on the everyday user’s behavior. We discovered that during the first weekend of Ramadan, travel coming from Jakarta’s most popular mosques jumped by an average of 58.01%! We’ll be sharing the more technical approach of how we did this analysis on our next blog post (hint: we’re using some compact representations of regions and points!).
Sahur (the meal before dawn) Moment
Sahur, the predawn meal, and iftar, the breaking of fast, are some of the most important rituals during Ramadan. This shift in eating habits was reflected in a massive change to our typical GO-FOOD rush hour data. During sahur, around 3:00 AM, GO-FOOD demand increased by up to 450% during Ramadan as people made their food selections before dawn’s break. And as our Muslim friends fasted throughout the day, our lunchtime rush hour demand, usually peaking at 12:00 to 1:00 PM, dropped by over 25%.
In fact, since the start of Ramadan this year, 1 in 4 customers on GO-FOOD are only placing orders during sahur and iftar!
The Value of Charity and Generosity
Tipping Your Driver
Last year, GO-JEK introduced the “tipping” feature for GO-PAY bookings during the Ramadan season as a way to elevate the platform and emphasize our commitment to providing others with the ability to “pay it forward”.
Typically, about 1 in 5 bookings elect to leave their driver a tip through the app via GO-PAY. This statistic was very consistent over the past year. However, during this year’s Ramadan season, 1 in 4 bookings distributed a tip to their driver! This adds up to an average additional income of Rp 400.000.000 per day ($30,030) for our active driver fleet. People were choosing to be more generous more often in the spirit of Ramadan!
GO-TIX Donation Events
This year, the GO-TIX team partnered with several charitable causes to empower our users with the ability to donate generously. Over 3,000 GO-JEK users contributed more than Rp 100.000.000 ($7,900) through GO-TIX to charities such as Rumah Zakat, Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik mitra Save The Children Indonesia, WeCare.id, and SOS Children’s Village during this year’s Ramadan (as of June 20th 2017). In comparison to last year’s Ramadan donations, this is an increase of more than 60%!
A New Way To Send THR
The ‘THR’ (Tunjangan Hari Raya) tradition of gifting friends and family money during or after Ramadan is a common way to celebrate these special days with our Muslim friends. This year, we discovered that many people were using the Transfer feature through GO-PAY as a way to gift THR to their friends and family! By comparing this year’s Transfer activity from April 29th to May 19th (pre-Ramadan) versus May 27th to June 16th (during Ramadan), we found a 25.7% increase in the amount of money being transferred. These people also sent messages of well-wishes along with their Transfer gifts — take a look at some of the words that were most commonly used during this Ramadan season (words translated from Indonesian):
We were pleased to see that people were using their digital GO-PAY wallet as an easy way to share the holiday spirit. Words related to the Ramadan season increased significantly such as “THR”, “break”, and “fasting”. However, what was most interesting to the team were the phrases whose usage in Transfersdecreased the most during the Ramadan season below:
You can quickly see that words suggestive of snacks or meals saw the greatest drop in frequency — at reductions between 20% to 40%. What this means is that on an average day, GO-PAY is often used to treat friends and family to a midday snack or meal — but during this fasting season, people are much more likely to use GO-PAY Transfer as a way to celebrate and share the gifts of Ramadan.
There are infinitely more data points we could touch upon to illustrate just how much of an effect Ramadan has across GO-JEK and Indonesia, such as the increase in GO-SEND packages being sent across cities, or the surge in fast food items being sold in the wee hours of the night. On the other hand, a few of our own heuristics didn’t quite reveal itself in the data. For example, traffic in Jakarta, while awful as usual, did not appear to be significantly worse in the hours before iftar last week when compared to the previous weeks leading up to Ramadan. With over 1 million bookings per day and more than 300,000 drivers, the data mining possibilities are endless!
The Business Intelligence team at GO-JEK is constantly experimenting with new ways to explore, model, and make sense of our data. If you’re excited by vast data pipelines (think Kafka Streaming, Flink, Airflow, and Spark), exploratory data-mining (SQL, Python, and R), data visualization, applied statistics (distributions, statistical testing, and regression), and have the ability to whiteboard conceptual theories as well as roll up your sleeves and get coding, solve problems, and develop solutions, GO-JEK is hiring! We have positions open for Business Intelligence Developers, Analysts, Data Visualization experts, and more.
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