Yesterday, I had a small reunion with an old school mate. It had been years we've last seen and a lot had happened to both of us since then. He wanted help with his business financials and reached out to me a couple of weeks ago; and we finally met yesterday.

Like me, he runs his own business. He is into home and office furniture making, and business has been steadily growing since he began some three years ago. Being an architect and having worked in several companies just for the practical technical bit of the furniture industry, he is running his business on a much bigger level than the average furniture maker we usually have in mind. They don't just slap sticks together and put a nail through them, they do prefabrication designs and 3D rendering for clients approval and produce a furniture of international (our preferred word for very high) quality.

He covers Lekki/Ajah/Victoria Island primarily, so if you want international quality at reasonable price, I'll be glad to give you their contact.

Back to what this post is about. He is trying to expand and get some funding. He has been seeing my numerous posts on Facebook about my business and financial data analysis services. So he thought it was time to upgrade his business accounting system and probably hire an accountant. He told me all about the current way his business accounting is done and how his seeking for fund opened his eyes to the strict accounting requirements he would need to meet. In the end I knew the very solution he needed: Quickbooks.

Except you run a very financially complicated business, Quickbooks and your personal assistant are enough to keep your business financials report up-to-date and easily accessible. All you need is to properly set it up (which is not hard at all) and walk your personal assistant through how to fill in expenses, create invoice, generate receipts and enter tax data.

Even when you need to do your audited year end financial report, the accounting firm you engage will charge you less if you already use Quickbooks as all they will need to do is probably just affix their seal on the Quickbooks generated report. 

You can access it from your phone, computer and tablet. So you have no fear of losing your company financials due to computer damage or theft. Also as your business grows and expands, you can upgrade you Quickbook offering to the version that will accommodate the increased financial reporting needs of your business -- maybe you've expanded to Ghana and need a consolidated financial reporting. 

I have seen many small and medium size businesses use Quickbooks and it is one of the easiest and scalable way to manage your business accounting.

So if you are full-time running your own business and need a reliable and excellent accounting solution, first consider Quickbooks.


I have completed six out of the 12 modules (courses) in my online MBA program. And I have seen the results of five already. Despite the last minute tactics I use in completing my assignments/projects, I still managed to get very good grade. I am waiting for the result of the sixth module I completed early this month but the results of the other five are:

  1. Organisations & HR Management    77%
  2. Business Economics 77%
  3. Decision Making Methods & Tools 81%
  4. Strategic Marketing           73%
  5. Financial & Managerial Accounting 89%
The sixth I am expecting the grade of is Corporate Strategy. And I am currently doing the seventh module, Financial Management.

It seems I get great scores in the mathematics heavy courses: Decision Making Methods & Tools (which was more like business statistics) and Financial & Managerial Accounting (accounting mathematics).

If I keep up those grade range, I will be ending up with a distinction in the program. Unfortunately, it won't be of any use to me as I won't be applying for any job with it.

The real (useful) progress I have been making is in my understanding of how business works and should be run. I have learned a lot about business strategy, marketing, organizational management and decision making; areas I knew nothing seriously useful about. I have been forced to analyse my company several times in the projects and assignments I did, which has been very eye-opening for me. I have gone through lots of business cases and strategy analysis that I now have my head stuffed with too much theoretical knowledge.

On November 8, 2012 I bought "Personal MBA: Master the art of business" book that advocated skipping MBA (and its expenses) by buying and reading business books. If you asked me then, I was sure I wasn't going to do an MBA. I was confident I could learn whatever it is they would teach me on my own, faster and cheaper.

Now I know better. The main benefit of doing the MBA is the pressure it puts on you to learn a lot more than you would have done on your own. There were weeks I had to write up to 10,000 words research assignments. I would do it from morning to night and not sleep well at night thinking about the assignment. There's no way I would have done that if I was doing self-study! I am sure that if I had enrolled in a paid intensive French class I would now be fluent in French instead of using my laid back self-study approach.

The MBA program has forced me to read materials I would never have come across on my own. They've curated the best (at least way better than what I could have and a million times better than what Personal MBA curated) business and management materials. The courses are synergistic and make you a rounded business man (in theory, first). And unlike the Personal MBA list of books, you end up reading books from professors who have spent decades of their adult life consulting and researching in the field they write about. People like Michael Porter, Philip Kotler, Peter Drucker, Michael Armstrong, Henry Mintzberg and Andrzej Huczynski. Not the for-profit (often, crap) writers that dominate the Personal MBA list.

Finally, you should take my opinion with a grain salt. It is highly subjective. I have been well bribed by good grades and the need to view my MBA expense as a worthy investment. So it's just natural that I be in praise of it. But seriously, if you want to have a well rounded knowledge of business, doing an MBA is way better than learning on your own, even if you have your own business.

The LIMER™ Personal Finance Conference is conceived as an ongoing effort towards increasing access to financial literacy education for Africans. 

This first edition is themed: This Thing Called MONEY! and targeted at millennials (typically born between 1982 and 2002), who are either unemployed or running their own businesses. 

It is hoped that the practical knowledge of handling finances gained at this conference will:
  1. Introduce the concept of Personal Finance Management as the foundation for Business/Corporate and Public Sector Financial Management.
  2. Provide a structure to individuals and families for managing finances.
  3. Build a network of like-minded individuals who believe both in working hard and working smart, and have come to subscribe to delayed gratification.
  4. Create a new financial mindset in our youth, helping them to see time as their most-valuable asset.
  5. Stimulate thoughts towards points of intersection between current professions/businesses and the field of Personal Finance.
The Conference will run from 9a.m. - 3 p.m on March 16, 2016 and has the following confirmed speakers:
Olubunmi Samuel-Adeyemi - Personal Finance Basics
'Dayo Ayeni - Entrepreneurship
Ope' Osiyemi - Insurance
'Bisi Ogunwale - Financial Intelligence
Michael Olafusi - Investments

Kindly send a message with your FULL NAME and E-MAIL ADDRESS to +2347085666618 to register for the Conference.

We look forward to welcoming you at the LIMER™ Personal Finance Conference.

Thank you for your interest!

It is not that those making the type of impact we want to make have more ideas than us. It is not that they know something we don't know. It is not that they are more qualified or better than us. In most cases, the only difference is that they made efforts and put actions behind their ideas.

There is this story being spread on LinkedIn about Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and the richest man in China. I got a more valid looking copy of the story on Investopedia:

"I failed a key primary school test 2 times, I failed the middle school test 3 times, I failed the college entrance exam 2 times and when I graduated, I was rejected for most jobs I applied for out of college. (Ma was the only one out of 5 applicants to the police force to be rejected and the only one of 24 applicants to be a KFC (YUM) manager to be rejected. "I applied for Harvard ten times, got rejected ten times and I told myself that ‘Someday I should go teach there.’"

He made it clear than as far as luck was concerned he has been unlucky so many times that if not for great efforts he wouldn't be where he is today, as the 18th richest man in the world.

A lot of us find stories like this very inspiring and make us proud of the great ideas we carry about. However, very few people see the where the real inspiration lie. It is not in having great ideas nor knowing how to run a business or country better than the guy in charge nor seeing someone rise without family connection and inherited wealth. The real inspiration should be that when you put in efforts into what you believe and turn your ideas to action backed goals, you will achieve results. However, if you leave it all as an idea, even as a well commented or written about idea, it won't lead to anything useful for you. 

Don't just have an idea. Have an active project. Make efforts in the direction you are always thinking and talking about. 

Yesterday, I resumed one of my C# classes. It was like punishment. I was beginning to question if it was worth it. I am abandoning the chance to put in my 100% at the business I have just recently managed to turn into a profitable one and now learning web development. Many jobs pending, many prospective clients not gotten back to, many things I could be doing to generate immediate income with the knowledge I have. And I don't even have a clue how long it would take me to become good at web development; I only hope it won't be like my French learning experience (6 years and counting with little result). So on top of sacrificing income generating activities, I am also having to constantly motivate myself to continue.

As long as that idea of building enterprise applications, web apps and phone apps as products is in my head, I will keep making the hard sacrifice rather than just talking or thinking about them. I like the way Dwayne Johnson puts it: "To be successful at anything, all you need are lots of efforts and focus. Both of which are within your control."


People who spend all their income do so mainly because they have not put in place a savings or investment system. They will keep coming up with new things to buy and ways to spend all their income until they deliberately put in place a savings/investment system.

A savings/investment system is simply opening a dedicated savings or investment account and making regular contributions to the account. It helps you achieve three important things:

  1. Savings/Investing Habit. That you consciously put money away, no matter how small, into a dedicated account for savings/investment will make you more conscious of the benefit of saving and investing. It will bring it to the same level of subconscious attention buying new things you want currently get. And in the end, you will always see more opportunities to save or invest.
  2. Grow your Savings/Investment. The biggest growth your savings/investment will see are from you. If you put just 1 NGN in an investment account, even if the investment grows to 10,000%  return, you will still not have as much as you would have had if you kept putting in the 1 NGN every month (even for a much less return on investment). 
  3.  Benefit from Time Value of Money. Interest, to be less technical. Albert Einstein put it in a very wonderful way, "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world: he who understands, it earns it; he who doesn't, pays it." And I can attest to that. Have you noticed how your pension account balance always seem to be growing impressively? Mine is. I haven't contributed to it since 2014 and every month it is adding up some impressive sums. And that's what happens to all your savings/investment, they can potentially grow by themselves. Compound interest is a great thing, and like Einstein said you should make use of it.
It might be difficult to start for people with not enough earnings or lots of family responsibilities (relative to income). That's life. You only have limited options to pick from. And in all cases, opening a savings/investment account is among the most beneficial options. Even if you don't put in something substantial in it. Just for the sake of the first (habit formation) and last benefit (compound interest), it is still very worth it.

I have a terrible savings habit. In fact, I don't save. So investing has been my only way of saving. So regardless of your excuse (risk averse or hate saving), either savings or investment will always work for you.

Culled from a Microsoft Newsletter.

Organizations capture more data now than ever before—data that your executive team relies on you not only to collect, but to transform into insights that can drive critical business decisions.

Become a data rock star with the DIY Guide to Dazzling Data eBook, which shows you how to:

Create robust data models.
Use natural language to develop clear and stunning visualizations.
Share data efficiently across your organization.
Craft data stories using simple drag-and-drop gestures.
Generate insights from real-time analytics that can automatically refresh weekly, daily, or even on the hour.

 Data is the lifeblood of today’s corporate world. Organizations capture more data than ever before, on every aspect of the business. Data analysis has taken center stage as a driver of success.

 As a data analyst, your executive team relies on you to collect critical data from multiple sources, clean it, shape it, and present insights that drive critical business decisions. With Microsoft Power BI, you don’t have to be a master storyteller to tell amazing stories with data. Within minutes, you can create an end-to-end data journey that leads to stunning visualizations your stakeholders can easily understand and use. 

In this guide, you will discover how Power BI allows you to analyze data more quickly and easily than ever before. Even better, you will learn how to create dashboards that empower your data end users with DIY insights they can use whenever, wherever. 

Read on to start dominating the complex data streams that shape the future of your business. Get the full guide at: 


The easiest way to live an unhappy life is to have unreasonable expectations and to constantly seek options outside our reach. It sounds nice and makes for a dignifying talk to want to be richer than Dangote, to want to go to Harvard, to want to become the CEO of an MNC, to want to own a house in Ikoyi, to want to explore more adventures than Sir Richard Branson, to want something better than what everyone has. You could even claim them every Sunday or do a daily positive confession. To want/claim the absolute best of everything is same as greed.

At every stage in your life, you are meant to examine your options and take the best. Not sadden yourself claiming options outside your reach. You'll make steady healthy progress when you make the best use of the resources and options God bring your way, rather than worry yourself to unhappiness about options outside your reach.

A key decision in living a sound life is ignoring social pressure. If the fundamentals of a choice everyone is pressuring you to take is not sound, and the biggest reason you can find for taking it is the social trend, then you should ignore everyone and do what is fundamentally sound/right. 

Life is a lot like investment. Having a sound strategy is the only winning scheme. You can't let sentiments drive you into buying a stock you don't find fundamentally sound. So why let sentiments drive you into throwing your life at a choice you don't find fundamentally sound.

Everyday, you should make decisions that soundly make the most of your options. The decisions might even be to expand your options. That's mainly what we are doing when we learn a new skill or gather more experience at an old skill. What would be hard fooly will be to want to jump from point A to point B without a sound strategy except claiming point B with positive confessions.

In building a mansion, you work with the tools you have and acquire the ones you need while spending as much time as needed building the type of mansion you want. And the same with building the type of life you want, you work with what you have and acquire what you need while working hard at building that life. It's all about managing your options.

I'm currently re-reading Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman.


And in one of the last chapters he was talking about setting and achieving goals: personal and business goals. He talked extensively about the best way to overcome the temptations that will want to hinder you from achieving your goals.

We all know that the best way to overcome temptations is with the help of God. And most times, it is the only way. Also we know that we have to combine our faith with works, so I think there is something to benefit from Josh's recommendation.

He recommends conditioning your environment. That if your goal is to eat healthy then you will more easily achieve the goal and overcome the temptation to eat candies, ice cream and the junk foods you are avoiding by having only healthy foods at home and in your fridge. And rather than shopping somewhere that conspicuously stock those food you are avoiding, you should shop where only the healthy foods you want are sold. Build a supportive environment for your goal and you will have an easy time reaching it and overcoming the temptations that drag others down.

I completely agree with him. If you want to be an entrepreneur you'll make more progress and overcome excuses by surrounding yourself with people already on that path of entrepreneurship. If you want to be a programmer, you will overcome the limitations you face more easily by immersing yourself in a world of programmers. If you want to be rich, your chances will go up if you improve your environment (mentally and maybe physically too).

Your environment matters a lot. If you are a child and live in the Sahara desert where there's no rainfall, then you won't have a tough time overcoming the temptation to play in the rain. Why? Your environment made sure you won't face that temptation. It has nothing to do with your willpower.

A lot of times we fight battles we would have won by avoiding. Most of us don't smoke not because we have a stronger willpower than those who do (and want to stop), but because we were lucky to have an environment that shielded us from the temptation to smoke. Why don't we extend that luck to other aspects of our lives?

And before you forget, you need faith too (and first, preferably).


Except one is planning to compete every year on a knowledge show like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, it is often better to direct your learning in a very focused way towards specific fields.

I like the way Bruce Lee puts it: "The successful warrior is the average man with laser focus."

You benefit a lot more from narrowing your core interest to something specific and focusing on that in your learning. 

We all have different styles of learning. To many people, my learning style is confusing and probably looks unfocused. If I want to learn a thing, I spend the first few weeks reading up on the benefits of learning it, its alternatives and searching for a big picture use of it before finally focusing on learning it. It is the only way to gather enough motivation to see myself through learning it. I like to know what I am giving up by learning it and what ways my learning it is of lofty use.

And even then, I try everything in my learning journey. I don't have a consistent way of learning things. In learning Excel and Business Data Analysis, I didn't take any class nor benefitted from any book. I just dived in and managed to swim before drowning. And for French, I have tried everything I could think of: classes, immersion, books, online lessons, software, audio books, ebooks and one-on-one tutoring. For web app programming, I found online lessons, ebooks and one-on-one tutoring adequate.

Those things may look unconnected and like unfocused learning. They aren't. Learning French will open up new opportunities for business in the neighbouring countries and on those big (UN, WHO sponsored projects) that require English and French. Web App programming is translating my current solutions offerings into modern day on-the-cloud offerings and my gateway to building products I can sell. More importantly, it is the inevitable future in the business field I am in. Then the Excel and Business Data Analysis is what is earning my current livelihood. In the big picture I have, they are very well and synergistically connected.

For some other people I know, they have a very consistent structured way of going about their learning and it works for them. I have a friend who can't do self-study, he must take a tutor-led class. Everyone knows what works best for him/her.

The only thing I want to emphasis is that you'll gain a lot more from being extremely competent in very specific fields than having above average skill in lots of unconnected fields. And this is more significant if you hope to earning a good income from your skills.


"The only way to do great work is to to love what you do." Steve Jobs.

Recently, I caught the awards fever. I have spent a good deal of the last 9 days applying online for awards in categories like most helpful blog (Tech for Good) to INK Fellowship and Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Scholarship (majorly to get 6 months free access to the Bloomberg Terminal).

My main motivation was that I am as good as the guys who get some of these awards, and that if I apply for many some will be successful. Sounds reasonable and worth it to get $25,000 grant for a few hours work of putting together my business idea and explaining how it would meet an existing profitable need.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been a good experience for me. I felt like I was wasting every minute I spent filling those applications. In a way deeper than I can explain, I felt unproductive in using my time for such purposes. And again, as Steve Jobs said, if you are not happy with what you are doing for too many days in a row, then you need to make a change. 

So I am making a change. Once I finish the two essays for the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa application, I am pulling the plug on applying for awards. Somehow I don't enjoy them or feel they give me what I can't get myself.

I looked at my most proud and productive work, and they are the things I did out of pure passion. The online video course I have now sold to over 170 people across 28 countries was a project I did in 2014 that nobody knew why I was spending so much time and effort training over 500 people for free and without a plan yet of monetizing it. The book I have on Amazon, was purely written out of passion. I gave the first copies away until I figured out how to publish it on Amazon. Even this Data Analysis consulting career I now have began as a free help I offered colleagues at work and friends. It took me a long time to think I could charge for it.

Everything I did purely out of passion, I did very well. Even this blog is a fruit of my passion to write daily. In any way I have been outstanding, it is purely because I was driven by passion. And it's now time to learn from my old self. No more doing what I don't have the smallest passion for except it's extremely necessary. Luckily, I already have a strong passion for more than enough things. I hope to finish my novel this year and will benefit from the time gulped up in applying for awards.

This information/post is grabbed from: 

School of Data is inviting journalists, civil society advocates and anyone interested in pushing data literacy forward to apply for its 2016 Fellowship Programme, which will run from April to December 2016. Up to 10 positions are open, with an application deadline set on March 10, 2016.

Apply now

Fellowships are nine-month placements with School of Data for data-literacy practitioners or enthusiasts. During this time, fellows work alongside School of Data to build an individual programme that will make use of both the collective experience of School of Data’s network to help fellow gain new skills, and the knowledge that fellows bring along with them, be it about a topic, a community or specific data literacy challenges.
As part of this fellowship, our shared aim will be to increase awareness of data literacy and build communities who together, can use data literacy skills to make the change they want to see in the world.

A thematic fellowship

In order to focus the training and learning experience the 2016 School of Data Fellows receive, the School of Data Fellowship Programme is taking a thematic approach. As a result, we will be prioritising candidates who: * possess experience in, and enthusiasm for, a specific area of data literacy training * can demonstrate links with an organisation practising in this defined area and/or links with an established network operating in the field
We are looking for engaged individuals who already have in-depth knowledge of a given sector and that they will have been reflecting on the data literacy challenges faced in the field. This will help fellows get off to a running start and achieve the most during their time with School of Data: nine months fly by!
Furthermore, we have already partnered with organisations willing to support fellows interested in working on the following themes: Data Journalism, Extractives Data and Responsible Data. These amazing partner organisations will provide fellows with guidance, mentorship and expertise in their respective domains.

Learn more about the thematic focus

9 months to make an impact

The Fellowship will run from April to December 2016, and it entails 10 days a month of fellows’ time to work both offline with their local community carrying out trainings, supporting them on data-driven projects, and meeting their data needs on a flexible basis, as well as online with the global network, sharing learning via online skill-shares, blog posts and contributing to our online learning materials. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend of $1,000 USD a month to cover for their work.
In May, the fellows will come together for an in-person Summer Camp (location to be decided) to meet their peers, share their skills, and learn about the School of Data way of training people on data skills.
What are you waiting for?

Read more about School of Data’s fellowship

Apply now

Key Information

  • Available positions: up to 10 fellows, with 5 slots reserved for Data Journalism, Extractives Data and Responsible Data applications. Learn more.
  • Application deadline: March 10, 2016, midnight GMT+0
  • Duration: From April 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2016
  • Level of activity: 10 days per month
  • Stipend: $1000 USD per month

Key links


I am now making steady progress towards becoming a web developer. It hasn't been easy squeezing out time to read, practice and attend my training classes. In fact, it's been a month since my last class with one of my trainers and the other one is beginning to think I have lost interest as I haven't attended a class with her this year.

Sometimes it can be difficult to do what you know is the best to do. I know learning web development is way more important than most of the projects I have gotten my neck into. I try to say no to many requests or go silent to some inquiries but I am not seeing any significant reduction in my workload. Maybe it's because of the heavy advert campaign I run on Google. I now spend over $200 (N60,000) per month running adverts on Google to promote our services to potential customers. The result is that I get phone calls and emails everyday, more than I can handle sometimes.

And the consulting income cycle is not very helpful. It's either work comes in a flood or a trickle, rarely in a flow you would want and can easily manage. So now I force myself to put aside pressing tasks and head for the goal ahead. The software market is green in Nigeria. Almost no competition, and web development is the final piece to me having a scalable product offering. I can now build products others can use and pay for, rather than building one customer software (which I currently do). Somehow, people will always get more from you than you planned to give. So building software for just one client is a very tasking task compared to the income from it. Especially in Nigeria here where people are not accustomed to paying high for intangibles like a computer program.

My ultimate plan is to build web applications that people will pay a token monthly to use. Or need to buy on apps store. And I am now making impressive progress. I will soon share the website where you can access and tryout the things I am building.

Excel can let you sort your table in multiple levels. It's a little difficult to explain without showing you. So I have made a sample data we can all relate with.

It is the result of our last year election (fictitious data as usual). 

The results are arranged by State and Wards.

So what if you want to sort it such that the states will show alphabetically and the wards in each state will also show alphabetically. For example, Abia state will show first, and all the wards under it arranged from A to Z before we move to Adamawa state.

To achieve this, we'll need to do multi-level sorting.

I'll select the entire table and click on Sort & Filter, then Custom Sort.

The Sort dialog box comes up. I add one more level by clicking "Add Level".

I, then, specify that I want to sort by State first and then Wards.

I click on OK.

And below is the final result.

Notice that Abia state comes before Adamawa and all the wards in Abia state are arranged alphabetically.

And that's how you do multi-level sorting in Excel.


Do it everyday. Have your livelihood (main income) tied to it. And I assure you that there is no way you won't be extremely good at it.

If you are passionate about something, maybe it's boxing, swimming, karate, singing, music or writing, and you are worried that you are not extremely good at it. Then you just have to ask yourself a question: how badly do you want to be extremely good at it? And if you answer is very badly, then you should take up a part time job in it. Be an assistant boxing coach, be an assistant lifeguard, join school of music, write everyday...

Mastery comes from practice and the height of practice is to turn it to your practice (job).

Today, I am extremely good at Excel and Business Data Analysis, and I can tell you that the main reason is because I do it everyday and have my livelihood tied to it. It doesn't matter what mood I am in or whether I feel motivated or not, there is always a pending job to complete if I want to have money in my account. So I end up doing all kinds of jobs. Even projects I never imagined anyone would want to do with Excel. Every month, I am newly impressed by how much Excel can do and notice myself getting more extremely good.

The only downside is that you can't be extremely good at a lot of things. You will have to pick what's most important or lucrative. No matter how much you love watching wrestling, it would be a poor choice to pick wrestling as what you want to be extremely good at. Ever wondered why in those movies about world-best assassins and unbeatable fighters, even the ones that turn to international crime to monetize their skills; they still don't make as much money as the guy with a head for business. And they often have a damaged/broken life. Then let's bring this closer to home. Think Nigerian policeman, mobile policeman, soldier, navy and air forceman. Even the most greedy/corrupt/bullying among them are not as rich as their counterparts in other government jobs. And the reason is because there is a big limit to how much you can extort a living from intimidating others or brawling. So it might be more effective to not be a force man so you can have enough money to hire forceman/forcemen to do whatever you want.

Maybe that's not a very good example but you get the message. Pick a passion that's got huge potential, where the average is cool. Not some passion that you'll have to be way above average to pull a decent influence. Another example to avoid is stand-up comedy.

Once you've picked the right passion, then begin to transition to making a part time earning from doing it almost everyday. And you can be sure that you'll be extremely good at it.

Thumbs up for GTBank for the very valuable whitepaper they publish on the economic outlook of the country. Last week, they published the one for 2016: what the economy is already like and what the expectations are for the year.

You can download the report here: GTBank Macroeconomic and Banking Sector Themes for 2016.

Though I don't like the opening but I'll leave you to make your own like or hate decision without influencing it. Here's the verbatim quote of the opening sentences:

"According to the Chinese astrological tradition, 2016 is the year of the Monkey. Monkeys are seen to be intelligent, ambitious, witty, brave and possess a great sense of competition. There would be high demand for these attributes as thoughts turn to 2016."

The report talked about five major things:

  1. How the economic growth is slowing down (Economic Growth)
  2. Buhari's N500 billion plan to feed school children, give the unemployed poor monthly stipend and how sure are we that the money will actually get to the poor (Social Welfare Scheme)
  3. The #BuyNigeria crusade, unbundling of NNPC, passing of the PIB in phases and the no-money-to-pay-minimum-wage issue. (Economic Diversification and Reforms)
  4. The funny looking 2016 national budget, how we are planning to borrow a lot to finance it and expecting N350 billion from looters to fund part of it. (2016 FG Budget)
  5. Godwin's stand on the Exchange rate, why foreigners are avoiding bringing their money here and how the dollar rise + scarcity is affecting businesses (Exchange Rate Policy and Market Liquidity).
It is a very lively worded report. The writer has a good sense of humor, maybe too much for a formal report like that. You can feel his passion and sentiments in it. How he is against the non-devaluation of the Naira, how he is almost sure that the social welfare scheme will end up as another Dasuki case, how the SMEs are going to suffer more and that the oil price will fall rather than rise. 

It is the best economic report on Nigeria I have read this year. You should give it a look to. Best part is that it is just 12 pages.


When I was starting out I didn't have a proper business plan. Whatever plan I had, it was in my head. But you don't have to start that way. And I have also made amends and now have a proper business plan.

So how do you build a business plan for your business idea?

A business plan generally has four main parts:

  • Executive Summary (more like your elevator speech on what the business is about and why it will be profitable)
  • Introduction (covers your corporate mission, vision, products/services and targeted market)
  • Strategic Analysis (the need/opportunity analysis, SWOT, PESTLE, Michael Porter's 5 forces ...)
  • Marketing and Financial Plan (4Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion & Place, implementation plan, financial estimates, at least two year financial plan broken down monthly or quarterly)
And if you need help with crafting out a good business plan, Wells Fargo has one of the best help resource freely accessible online: 

The benefits of creating a business plan are beyond fulfilling a requirement for investor wooing. The very process of creating the business plan forces you to think critically about your business idea, do a lot of research and non-emotional analysis and put figures to your desires. You can't say you want to build a billion naira company in a 500 million naira industry. When you are obsessed with the business idea, it's hard to notice that but the moment you sit down and do a proper market research and financial projection, that will become obvious.

The business plan helps you to identify who your competitions are and forces you to come up with a strategy to win market share from them. It forces you to make the most of your strengths and identify your weaknesses. You think more critically about the opportunities and the risks/threats.

Most importantly you come up with a market penetration strategy that will make the business successful and give a financial projection of how things will pan out.


Strategy, in life and in business, is all about being where the ball is going to be. To catch the ball, you have to predict where it is going, then get there before it does and position your hand to catch it. The goalkeeper dives not when the ball is already at the corner of his post but right at the moment the ball leaves the striker's foot.

In my business line, the ball has already moved and I think I know very well where it is heading. And I'm not the only one getting ready. In fact, a lot of foreign and global companies are shifting focus and making new strategy to be there before the ball passes them. And being a Microsoft follower, I am very aware of Microsoft's way of getting ready and the billions they are spending to not be too late to the party.


The future is web, not desktop applications. I am already hearing clients asking for applications that can run on their phones or accessible online. No one wants to have a solution that can only reside on one computer and they can't use it if they are not on that computer. CEO's and managers now give preference to solutions they can access on their iPads and smartphones.

Microsoft is correct. We are moving into a mobile first and cloud first world. Not just for the Facebook public but also the enterprise world. Desktop applications are the new dinosaurs.

I am already readying myself. I am gradually cutting down on my Excel jobs and taking my web development classes serious. Luckily, I am now skilled at turning my skills to money. I have managed before to go from zero to below zero and then rise well above zero. I don't want to fight over crumbs. I am going where all the action is and the potential is big.

I am going where the ball is going to be.

Just few slots available!

Data analytics is the process of analyzing raw data to uncover hidden patterns, such as Market trends, Data correlations, Customer preferences, Performance analysis, and other useful business information that enables companies and organisations make better, informed, data backed decisions. Applications of Analytics covers all departments in an organization including; Marketing, Finance, Customer Service, Risk, Sales. In today’s challenging and competitive environment, Data Analytics cannot be overlooked to stay with or ahead of the competition.
With Data Analytics a new concept in most organisations we are sometimes short of proper understanding of what it really entails or what value it brings to the table. Without this understanding managers cannot decide if it is worth the financial investment and analysts do not know if acquiring skills in data analytics would increase their analytical abilities and professional worth.
This course is focused on developing an all-round understanding of Data Analytics, its strengths and areas of applications. It will separate the myth from the facts and give participants a practitioner’s view of what data analytics really entails by adopting real scenarios to buttress key points. Data Analytics is be a bit more than you envisaged.
Course Duration
1 Day
Date: Saturday 5th March 2016, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Kristina Jade Learning Center, 70b Olorunlogbon street, after Banex Hotels, Anthony Village, Lagos.
Course Fee: N15,000 (discounted from N20,000)
Registration Details: Kindly call Evans on 08135487554 or Michael on 08089382423 and

Course Delivery
This course is non-technical and is focused on understanding of analytics concepts and processes. It is a key step for organisations that intend to leverage on data analytics to improve processes or for analysts that intend to venture into the world of data analytics
Target Participants
Managers, Analysts, Analytics enthusiasts
Course Outline
  • Introduction to Data
o   What is Data
o   Data structure
o   Data Gathering
o   Data Storage
  • Introduction to Business Analytics
o   Analytical Thinking
o   Understanding Data
o   Analytical Process
  • Analytical Grouping
o   Descriptive Statistics
o   Predictive Analytics
o   Prescriptive Analytics
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Advanced Analytical Platforms
o   R/Python
o   SAS/SPSS/Knime/Alteryx
  • Business Intelligence Platforms
o   Power BI
o   Tableau/Spotfire/Qlik
Analytics Models
  • Monitoring models
  • Management models
  • Decision models
Analytical Projects
  • Sales Analytics
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Risk Analytics
  • Process Optimization
Evans Otalor (BSc, MSc, ACSI)
Evans is currently the Principal Quantitative Solutions Consultant at Ingress Solutions. He is an experienced analytics professional with demonstrated track record successfully structuring and managing analytic projects with Banks, TELCOs, and FMCGs.
Skilled in the application of Mathematical and Statistical Methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize data for quantitative modelling projects that include both Data Analysis and Predictive Modelling to aid insight extraction, Risk Disclosure, Reporting, Measuring, Monitoring, and Predicting.
 Highly experienced in Financial Modelling, Business Analysis, and Data Mining.  Expert user of Microsoft Applications (Including MS Excel, Data Mining Add-in, Power BI, and PowerPoint), R, SPSS Modeler, Alteryx, Knime, Spotfire, Tableau, and various Data Analysis/Visualization tools