Aug 9, 2016

Motor Vehicle Market in Bulgaria - Some Data Revealed

Couple of years ago I got interested in second hand car market in Bulgaria and was not surprised there is not available data for it. I tried to proxy it with the data from a - the largest car sale site in the country - see the post here. Тhe approach had some downsides but still delivered some data. However, it was a partial effort as a proper estimation would require regular data extraction and comparison and I had not had the time to do that. The good news is, thanks to EU Open Data effort, the Bulgarian government has recently published data for registered motor vehicles. Please find it here, in Bulgarian only. It is a good step forward and I welcome that. The data is missing some important details such as mileage and engine type (diesel, petrol, electric) and could have been better organized but it way better than no data at all. I was not happy to confirm some of my conclusions about the age of the car park as it is a sign the economy is not in the country it should be after more than 20 years of free market.

I hope the Open Data initiative will not die and the government will keep publishing data on regular basis to satisfy the data curious minds.

Apr 22, 2016

Is There Anything Wrong with Year 2016

The pop king Prince has passed yesterday at age of 57. He joined a seemingly long list of celebrities we lost this year. Posts on social media go along the lines of "2016 did it again", "First Bowie now Prince" and "Isn't is the worst year ever?". One might really think there is something going on this year. But is it really?

Apr 12, 2016

Sunken Costs and Sausages

Last week I went to a client conveniently located in a fantastic tourist destination and I had great opportunity to add some weight while having good times. I was recommended a restaurant serving fantastic one-in-the-world sausages and one evening I took the walk to get there. It was bit off the tourist and business tracks and soon I got to a part of the city where nothing much was happening and I was expecting a quiet and tasty dinner. However, to my surprise the restaurant was crowded as an Apple store on a release of a new iPhone! People were standing with a beverage and plate of sausage so close to each other that even basic activities as checking Facebook seemed impossible. My companions were all "See how good is this place!". But was it really the food that kept people in?

Mar 29, 2016

The Problem with Excel Spreadsheets in Organizations

The death of Excel has been announced many times but it seems to be tougher than officer McClane and still saves the day for many organizations. However, implementation is riddled with problems and dangers that could have detrimental effect on careers or businesses. I have long developed and fought for standards and procedures to minimize the risks and pains coming from badly placed, designed and developed spreadsheets and I am not alone in that as there are numerous evangelists of good Excel practices. However, their impact is limited and there are larger opposing forces at play. They come from the organizations and the accessibility of Excel itself.