Finally done with the whitepaper on the Data Analysis Industry in Nigeria for 2016.

You can download it here: Data Analysis Industry Report 2016 - Nigeria

Data Analysis Industry Report 2016 - Nigeria from Michael Olafusi

If you know someone who might benefit from the report, please do forward/share.

Also send me your feedback or what you'll like covered in the 2017 edition.

You can get my Microsoft Excel book for free today and tomorrow on Amazon. Click here to get it

The paperback version costs $45. Already made some sales these last two month and gotten my cut from Amazon. That is what you will be getting for zero Naira. Plus, this is the third revised edition of the book. I constantly keep it updated.

So don't delay. Act now. Grab yours now, here.

On Friday, I created five tutorial videos in my new short and direct video series. I focused on Power BI, sharing some tricks that Power BI enthusiasts should be aware of. 

For all who asked to be added to the backend of my Power BI stock analysis model, I tried to add everyone on Friday. But then I found out that Microsoft has restricted sharing the Power BI reports with public domain email addresses -- yahoo, gmail, outlook and other popular email domains. They only allow sharing to work domain email addresses. If you haven't gotten a notification that the Power BI model has been shared with you, that is the reason. Sorry. If you have a work email that is not yahoo or gmail, then provide me with that one and I will re-add you.

Below are the video tutorials. Enjoy.

Workspaces in Power BI

Unpivot Column in Power BI

Relationships in Power BI

My Power BI settings

New Column and Formatting in Power BI
I have seen people rise in unexpected ways because of their great work skills. Sometimes, they've got average skills but excellent work dedication. They work hard and consistently.

There is a magic in delivering great work.

The most successful people in the world are either extremely good at one specific thing or big risk takers.

Have you ever wondered why individual musicians, even young, make a lot more money from music than choirs (team of professional musicians)? Or why one man will make more money than an entire company with teams of people?

Well, after observing the usual patterns successful people follow, I found out they can be broadly classified into two -- be a celebrity in your chosen field or be like Dangote (take big risks). In this post I will talk about the former because that is the path I have decided to follow.

The same way musicians, artists and famous authors manage their career is the same way I am trying to manage mine -- by delivering consistent great work. Start early, make all the mistakes fast, put yourself out there, be visible, be bold, be focused, and charge crazy high.

If you consistently deliver great work and don't reset your career every few years or spread yourself across too many things, then that great work will take you places. Usain Bolt can run all races but he decided to focus on short ones (sprints). Most musicians focus on just one genre of music even though they can sing across multiple genres. Famous authors specialize in one type of theme. Movie starts have their niche roles. Imagine Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) switching roles.

Finally, focus on the end consumer and not critics/peers. I see too many people trying to please the expert community in their field than the people who pay for their services. The highest paid musicians are not the prodigies in the music schools or professors of music who are expert at wowing critics. The highest paid ones are the ones focusing on delivering great enjoyable value for the general consumers (like you and me). It's the same approach I take in my business. I don't care what other experts say or try to enter a competition with them. I focus on the mass market -- people who care about me solving their problems and willingly pay me for it and not people who will engage me in superiority argument that waste time and don't put money in my pocket.

So, are you doing great work?


Paying for things online is now turning to a nightmare. My Google adverts have stopped running because I can't pay for the outstanding amount that came due two weeks ago. My postal service subscription that enables me to get Technology and Business Magazines from US shipped directly to me here in Nigeria has also paused due to my inability to pay with my regular ATM cards. The list continues.

I have accounts with FCMB, GTBank, Diamond Bank and Stanbic Bank. And have their ATM cards too. Stanbic is usually the first of the bunch to send me a mail about restriction or cancelling international transactions on their Naira ATM cards. With Diamond Bank, I never really know. They don't send me anything/notification yet I can't use the card for foreign currency denominated payments.

GTBank and FCMB still allows me to make international transactions on my cards. But they've both limited them to $100/month. By the time GTBank sent me the email, I had already gone past that threshold so all my subscription payments that came due this month after 10th of October couldn't be settled. I had to migrate the most crucial ones to FCMB and now that one too is reaching the threshold. I am unable to make a payment today for $25, so I am guessing it's to wait till next month.

And the rates they bill me at? It's crazy. Not their fault. But crazy, still. Over N460 to a dollar. I almost screamed when I noticed.

Any banks I can try that you know of?

I spent the whole of yesterday working on the model, creating from scratch in Power BI. And finally, I've got the good news -- I am done with the Power BI model and you can test-drive it. The data are valid, spent months compiling them.

If you want me to share it fully with you, send me your email and I will add you from the backend. You'll get an email invitation to fully access the model dashboard, make edits on your own copy and analyse Nigerian Stock Exchange listed companies. If there's any analysis or modifications or suggestions you'll like to see me make to it, do let me know. Maybe, it looks to simplistic or no predictive analysis included or no technical analysis included. The underlying data took me months to compile and verify, the backend mashup was no small work too (PowerQuery to mashup 60+ different tables -- unpivoting, handling missing values, creating relationships e.t,c.).

You can view the entire model here.

Also below is a fully interactive embedded version. Do try it and let me know your feedback. You can analyse any combination of companies you want. Use the slicer/filter on the left.

Today, 4:00pm, I will be walking us through the concepts of Dashboard and building dynamic charts in Excel.

Dashboards are clear visuals of the insights in your reports in a consolidated and easy to understand way. Just think about your car's dashboard. In one glance you get to see the state of your car. And that is the way your visuals should be like if you are making reports on a system as complex as a car, having many intricate moving parts and lots of KPIs to track.

Maybe you are a sales analyst and you track over a dozen brands/products across dozens of regions/areas. Your final report is a labyrinth, even you sometimes get lost in it.

Maybe you make a fairly simple report but the lines of records are many and regular charts look so crowded/clumsy that you have given up including charts in the report.

Or maybe you want to make more engaging visuals, put in some element of interactivity. Make the data come alive. 

Then you shouldn't miss this webinar.
Date: Today, Wednesday 26 October 2016
Time: 4:00pm UTC+1 
Venue (YouTube live)

We run webinars monthly on how to improve your business data analysis skills. To be among the first informed monthly about the webinars and get timely reminders, please sign up here: Webinar Directory.
I have got some good news for you. Especially those of you who requested to check out the stock analysis app I have been talking about.

Pending when the web app version will be completed, I am building a Power BI version that I will share with you. It will enable you see the core functions of the app with stunning visualizations.

This shouldn't take me too much time. Hopefully, this week I should be done with something good enough to share.

I am also working on an open Power BI course. I will be teaching the participants how to use Power BI and, as usual, with a more real-life/practical approach + plenty practice.

I will cover:
1. Power BI’s strength and weakness compared to the other popular BI tools
2. Important concepts of Power BI
3. Connecting to any type of data source (from structured to unstructured which will require some transforming)
4. Getting data from existing services, organizational content pack, flat files and live databases
5. Data Transformation (very broad and requires some knowledge of data analytics) and we will use DAX formulas too
6. Creating relationships between the datasets and leveraging hierarchy (a.k.a. data modelling)
7. Creating Reports
8. Visualizations and the science behind choosing the right visuals
9. Importing custom visuals (especially word cloud for sentiment analysis and other very useful non-native visuals)
10. Creating dashboards
11. Publishing Reports from the Designer and pinning to dashboards
12. Scheduling refresh
13. Q & A Natural Language query
14. Integrating with Cortana
15. Live Dashboards
16. Collaboration and sharing
17. Printing the dashboard
18. Analyzing the dashboard data (report) from Power BI service in Excel (new feature)
19. Value Proposition to corporate customers
20. Use case scenarios for entire company or business unit or departments
21. Access from mobile app and setting data alerts (that are automated notifications when something of note happens)
22. Lots of interaction (Q&A)

I am targeting November end or first week in December. Let me know if you are interested.


I remember the post I made in 2014 about needing help with my marketing. And other posts about how running my own business was starving me and how my non-outgoing nature was working against me in business.

Fast forward to today and I am now the one giving people marketing advice. I am now thriving and the very nature that was against me has been my biggest strength. The roadblocks I faced have made me better in the end.

I do a lot of online transactions, dollar denominated. I always managed to overcome the roadblock by the banks. The process wasn't fun and some people would have just cursed Buhari/Emefiele and given up. But mine has led me to be an expert user of PayPal, Payoneer and Bitcoin.

Last week, I reviewed how much I spend on watching movies at the Cinemas. Plus the popcorn they cross-sell you and the overpriced coke. Now, I am switching to Netflix and Hulu. I have found a way to overcome Hulu's geo-restriction and I have also found a permanently working way to access the richer Netflix USA content (USA gets way more interesting movies and TV series than other countries). 

I now have the hardcopy of my book published to the USA market on Amazon and have already made some sales without advertising. It's just now that I am trying to publish it here for the Nigerian market. I still make monthly income from the kindle version, especially the rental service revenue share. I originally was planning to use book publishers but when they slammed me their bills I decided to learn how myself and do everything myself. Total cost was just the less than $10 I paid for the online course I took and the $10 I paid for the book cover design. I have recouped the amount multiple times over.

Yesterday, I facilitated another Financial Modelling class. Feedback was great. I never let my engineering background be a roadblock to my providing services for the financial industry. I have read more finance books than engineering books and have done financial projects for different clients within and outside Nigeria.

When I come across a roadblock, I focus more on what is on the other side and if I want it enough I work hard at overcoming the roadblock. In the end I get two benefits: I get what is on the other side and I also get better.

42.75 Mbps download speed
24.05 Mbps upload speed
Unlimited internet for one month costs just N10,000 (for now).
Two days unlimited internet? N1,000 (for now).
One week unlimited internet? N3,000 (for now).

No speed cap/limit. You get all the available bandwidth 24/7 and the speed beats that of all the other networks I have used -- from Swift to Smile to Spectranet to Glo to MTN.

How do you get on the Ntel bandwagon?

Coverage is currently just Lagos and Abuja. You can check out the list of Ntel stores for the one closest to you here -- 
The extra cool thing is that you select the number you want. I requested for a number pattern that is same as my current MTN line, just that the 0806 became 0804, the rest were the same.

Since getting it last week Tuesday, I have yet to go somewhere in Lagos where they've got no network coverage. From Abule-Egba to Ikoyi, good coverage.

I also got the line cheap. More like free, only had to recharge with N1,000 during activation, which you can use for cheap voice calls or the super cheap internet plan.

The only issue to bother about is your phone. It has to support 4G. And you have to be sure, or better test first, as many phones say they support 4G but don't really do. I use a 4G modem with mine.

Nigeria has experienced both boom and bust in the last ten years. The rise of foreign direct investment and the capital markets in 2006 to 2007 before a sudden crash the capital markets is yet to recover from. Also the increased volatility of the crude oil price has created years of abundance and years of famine for the nation. All the while government have been making different policies to steady the nation on a smooth path of growth. This is an analysis of those policies.
Below is a table of the economic indicators for Nigeria over the past seven years and a forecast for the next two years (2016 and 2017).
Table 1: Economic indicators for Nigeria
Economic Indicator
Economic Activity
Real GDP (YoY%)
CPI (YoY%)
Unemployment (%)

External Balance
Curr. Acct. (% of GDP)
Fiscal Balance
Budget (% of GDP)

Interest Rates
Central Bank Rate (%)

3-Month Rate (%)


Exchange Rates
Source: Bloomberg Terminal (2016)
In the last seven years (2009 to 2015), the economy has experienced drastic, rollercoaster-like, changes in every important economic indicator. The GDP growth has gone up and come down. The inflation rate had a range of over 5% from lowest of 8.1% in 2013 to 13.8% in 2010. The unemployment rate has been swinging up and down. The current account balance has fluctuated widely from a surplus of 5.1% of GDP to a deficit of -2.4% of GDP. The central bank interest rate has doubled within the seven-year period and over a range of 6%. And the exchange rate has also fluctuated badly from 149.50 Naira to a US Dollar in 2009 to 199.30 Naira to a US Dollar in 2015. It is currently 316.50 Naira to a US Dollar (21 October 2016), way beyond analysts estimates.
And what policies did the government embark on at the different difficult periods of the economy?
To properly answer that question, it is best to break the last seven years into the distinct economic periods they represent:
·         Period A – 2009 to 2010. This is the period Nigeria got caught in the global financial crisis.
·         Period B – 2011 to 2013. This is a period of relative stability and prosperity as crude oil price soared and political tensions dropped.
·         Period C – 2014 to 2015. This period is marked by a huge drop in crude oil price that hit the economy harder than expected.
Below are graphs of the economic indicators across these three distinct periods.
Figure 1: Real GDP Growth over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)

Figure 2: Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) rate over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)

Figure 3: Unemployment rate over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)
Figure 4: Central Bank rate over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)

Figure 5: Current Account Balance over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)

 Figure 6: Crude Oil Price over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Federal Reserve Bank)

Figure 7: Exchange Rate over the past seven years

Source: Author (data from Bloomberg)

Period A: 2009 to 2010
When the global financial crisis started fully across the developed countries in 2008 from the domino effect of the subprime mortgage loan and derivatives crisis in USA in 2007, the government in Nigeria believed Nigeria was immune to the crisis as there were no complex securities or derivatives market in Nigeria that is linked to the USA market. Unfortunately, this reason for inaction underestimated how globally linked the financial world is. Over 70% of investors in the Nigerian stock exchange were institutional investors and a significant portion of the funds they managed were from foreign investors. Soon these foreign investors started pulling out their investments in the Nigerian market mostly to rebalance their portfolios and take advantage of depressed asset values in the developed countries. This opened the pathway for the financial crisis flood to enter Nigeria. The already depressed stock market, correcting itself from the unreasonable high valuations of 2007, was further depressed. The banks came under intense stress as assets value dropped nationwide and their non-performing loans ballooned. Commodity prices dropped, especially crude oil and this led to drop in government revenue and put pressure on government spending.
The government went on an expansionary fiscal policy. The central bank also dropped rates to 6% to stimulate bank lending to businesses and grow economic activities, mitigating the effect of the drop in economic activities. And it worked. Inflation was kept in check and the real GDP even grew.

Period B: 2011 to 2013
This was a period of prosperity for Nigeria. The oil price soared to over 100 US dollars per barrel leading to a big increase in government revenue and government spending. In other to prevent increase in inflation, the central bank raised rates from 6% to 12%. With the increase in foreign exchange income, the exchange rate was stable and the Naira strengthened slightly. Unemployment rate was low. However, the government spent all the windfall from the crude oil sales and the foreign reserve shrank rather than grow during the prosperity period.

Period C: 2014 to 2015
This was a much more trying period for Nigeria than even the 2009 to 2010 period. Crude oil price dropped from above 100 US dollars to below 50 US dollars. The subsequent drop in government revenue and foreign exchange earning was worsened by an inadequate foreign reserve. The economy had grown a lot during the previous years and import has also grown, so when the value of crude oil export dropped, there was an unprecedented pressure on the foreign reserve. Central bank’s immediate response was to reduce the official foreign exchange demand by severely limiting access. The initial result was an unofficial market with dollar rate close to double that of the official rate. The government became confused trying different contrasting policies one after another. In the end it settled for a contractionary monetary policy and an expansionary fiscal policy, and the result has been an economy in limbo.

Bloomberg Terminal (2016). Country Guide: Nigeria Economy. Lagos: Bloomberg Media
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (2016). Crude Oil Prices: Brent - Europe (DCOILBRENTEU). [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2016]
Ovadia, J. (2013). Measurement And Implementation Of Local Content In Nigeria – A Framework For Working With Stakeholders To Increase The Effectiveness Of Local Content Monitoring And Development. Lagos: FOSTER.
The informal sector is generally regarded as the part of a nation’s economy that is not taxed nor regulated by government. In October 2015, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity reported that the informal sector in Nigeria contributes about 60 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs about 90 percent of the nation’s workforce. Nigeria will hugely benefit from bringing mainstream that informal sector – regulating it, taxing it and, ultimately, turning it into part of the formal sector.
According to a World Bank report analyzing the informal economy across the world and using data from 162 countries over a span of a decade, the informal economy contributes an average of 17.2 percent to the global GDP. But the difference across countries are huge with developed countries having as low as 5 percent to 12 percent and developing countries having as high as 50 percent to 70 percent.
Figure 1: Size of the Informal Sector across the world (Targetmap, 2016)

The main reasons the informal sector exists are because people are trying to avoid government regulation, trying to avoid paying tax, unable to gain employment in the formal sector and are affected by poor government policies that make starting formal businesses very difficult.
In a research by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002, the informal sector can be broadly split into two main categories:
1.       People engaging in survival activities that fall outside the regulated and taxed formal sector, and
2.       People engaged in illegal activities/businesses and are avoiding government regulation
Figure 2: The two broad categories of the informal sector

It is no coincidence that developed countries have much smaller informal sector compared to the developing countries. They have over time, with supporting public policies, enable people to legally start businesses, they have institutions set up specifically to support small businesses and integrate them into the formal sector, and they have well established and enforced regulations that prevent people from engaging in illegal business activities. The result has been increased tax revenue, growth of small businesses into global brands that employ more people and prevent them from engaging in illegal business activities, and accurate economic data for public planning as informal sector are never accurately measured.
For Nigeria to progress economically and be able to come up with effective data driven public policies, there is an urgent need to transition the informal sector into the formal sector. This can be achieved via four main strategies:
1.       Supporting small businesses by simplifying the process of business registration, tax registration and tax payment.
2.       Establishing institutions that support, fund and advise small businesses like most other developed countries have.
3.       Giving tax incentives to registered small businesses instead of already big established conglomerates like Dangote Group.
4.       Prosecuting illegal businesses to protect the legal ones from unfair competition that may disincentivize them from being registered and coming under government regulation
Currently, the process of registering one’s business with the appropriate bodies – Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), State and Federal Tax bodies – is anything but simple. On paper it is simple. First, confirm from CAC that the name you want to use for your business is available and then reserve it. For sole proprietorship businesses you go to the nearest CAC office, fill and submit the business registration forms. For partnership and Limited Liability companies, you first get a lawyer who might double as your company secretary and he/she handles form filling at the CAC office. Technically, this should be an easy process but the reality is that it is only the name reservation part that often goes on smoothly. I have spent many days at the CAC office in Yaba, Lagos, interviewing entrepreneurs and lawyers trying to register all those three types of businesses. The CAC office opening hours are 10:00am to 3:00pm. Everything is paper and pen based. There are no clear guidelines for the first timer, especially the sole proprietors. And worst of all, if you don’t have a friend among the staff keeping a special eye on your registration request for you, there is no guaranteed date for your company registration to be complete. I have seen people wait for months to get feedback on their registration process, and that is after putting up with the often terrible customer service the CAC staff provides. All these make people unwilling to register their businesses except they will need to deal with clients who require that their businesses be registered. The result is that most small businesses, especially ones who operate a business-to-consumer (B2C) model and the consumers don’t care if the business is registered or not, do not bother to register their businesses. Registering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and State Inland Revenue Services also require equally cumbersome processes. The government should smoothen this processes so as to encourage entrepreneurs to start and register their businesses from the day one.
The United States of America has SBA (Small Business Administration) department that assist small businesses with funding, counselling and other supports. Australia has SBDC (Small Business Development Corporation). South Africa has SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Agency). Canada has CSBFP (Canada Small Business Financing Program). We have MSME Development fund administered by the CBN. We have SMEDAN. But they are not operating optimally.
Many countries give incentives to small businesses to ease the starting phase. The United Kingdom has reduced tax burdens on small business and through its Department for Business Innovation and Skills made incentives worth £10,000 available yearly to small businesses. Nigeria does not have any incentives for small businesses. Now, when the business environment is very tough for small businesses, is a perfect time to provide such incentives.
Lastly, businesses operating illegally are not often prosecuted in Nigeria and take market share away from the registered and legally operating ones. The result is that more people are encouraged to ignore standards and regulations, set up business that operates unethically and illegally to save cost and maximize revenue rather. The trend should be halted.
If the government in Nigeria can put in place these four strategies, the informal sector will transition into the formal sector with immediate benefits like increased tax revenue and better economic data for the government.