Friday, June 24, 2022

First Census Results #Census2022

The Central Statistics Office have published today the first set of preliminary results from the Census taken on April 3rd last. This is pretty impressive speed given that over 1,000,000 census forms were collected - mine were collected on May 5th, only seven weeks ago. Each form was fed into massive machines which first cut off the spine and then scanned each page using OCR technology.

My piece of these first results was that there were 480 dwellings in the area (Foxrock/Deansgrange) that I enumerated. You can see on the infographic below that South Dublin has the lowest vacancy rate at 4% - it was slightly less in my area. 

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One of the more interesting graphics from the CSO Preliminary Report shows the change in our population since 1841 (26 counties only). The devastation of the Great Famine (1845 -1849) and the curse of emigration is plain to see. The 1961 census shows the lowest population figure (actual figure was 2,818,341). This was just after I was born (1959) - so I'm glad I did my bit for population growth in Ireland. I'm guessing that in our next Census, our population will have doubled since 1961.

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Expect more results to drip feed from the CSO over the next few months. I'm told that one of the figures to be released next is the percentage of Time Capsule that were filled out. If my area is anything to go by I expect this could be as low as 25-30%.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Making a Course on Udemy #udemycourses #problemsolving

My first course on Udemy is now available, and it seems strange to be no longer in content creation mode. The structure of the course has long been in place. Several years ago I created a "course" on Udemy consisting of YouTube videos only. I had lots of old Problem-Solving Techniques videos on my channel and I invented a course structure around them. Not surprisingly, the good folks at Udemy rejected such a "course" as it went against their policies. But it did give me the idea to one day rebuild.

For lectures, the new course uses PowerPoint and Snagit to capture screen video and audio. Udemy have a support process that allows you to upload videos to have them checked for quality before publication. Once this was cleared, I was ready to go. There are 24 lectures, each one followed by a short assignment which were created in Udemy's own tools. Some of the lectures also had "How To..." videos - for example, the Pareto Analysis lecture has an accompanying video showing how to draw a Pareto Chart in Excel. Most of these videos were also screen captures using Snagit, but I also used my GoPro as a document reader for videos, eg Flow Charts, showing how to do them by hand.

In April 2021, Business Wire reported that Udemy has over 40m learners with 70,000 instructors teaching 155,000 courses in more than 65 languages. It is going to take a long time to to get any notice for my course. My post announcing the launch of the course on LinkedIn last week generated a good deal of traffic with lots of Likes and Shares, and had over 6,200 impressions (the number of times my post was displayed on-screen). Indeed, this post is a blatant attempt to get some more traffic!

For a short time I am giving away free access to the course for 100 students - click on the link below to use the PROBLEMSOLVING coupon code:

This coupon expires on 3rd July, 2022 and is available on a first come first serve basis.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

My Problem-Solving Techniques Course on Udemy

After many months of stop/start development I have finally released my first course on Udemy: Problem-Solving Techniques. The course is based mainly on my 2015 book, An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis, and on an old module called Business Systems Analysis that I used to teach at the National College of Ireland. I have set the price at a modest $24.99 in order to see if this low price can generate some sales, though I see that Udemy are currently running a Sale and that the course is already available at $12.99!

In the course, students will cover a wide variety of problem-solving techniques in the following eight areas:

  • Problem identification
  • Improvement priorities identification
  • Decision making
  • Process identification
  • Resources planning
  • Process improvement
  • Performance measurement
  • Predictive techniques

In all there are 24 Lectures, plus several "How To" style videos, on topics such as Pareto Analysis, SREDIM Process Improvement, PERT, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Value Analysis, and many more. All lectures are short (average about 10 minutes), and the course is designed so that students can dip in and out rather than having to start at lecture 1 and progress incrementally to lecture 24.

While I have spent way more hours creating the content for this course than I had expected, I am pleased with the result. Getting the course published on Udemy is the easy part, now begins the task of promoting the course and getting people to enrol. The are so many courses on Udemy and other platforms that I feel that it will be very difficult to sell this course. Nevertheless, even if it ends up as a total failure, I feel happy and proud that I have finally got a course up on Udemy.