Oil Prices and Edmonton Housing

This post basically is about how events are inter related and how one event can trigger an event somewhere far off. Though I wanted to do a more detailed co-relation between housing prices in Edmonton and world oil prices but “perfect is the enemy of the good.” So I thought might as well share this post and then write up more in a follow up post. The graphs below show the oil crisis of 1979 and of 2008 which resulted in the spike that can be seen in the price of houses in Edmonton. It also goes on to reflect how vulnerable Edmonton as a city is based on purely oil (for some reason it reminds me of Klondike).
[Click the images below to see the data clearly]

Trend 1

Trend 2


So as prices of oil go higher globally my understanding is that the relatively expensive extraction from oil (tar) sands become economically feasible and hence driving economic activity in Alberta which is further enhanced by people moving to Edmonton. Other than the prices driven up by those migrating, it also in turns produces a positive vibe about the economy and hence people start buying houses which eventually drives the prices up (and further aggravated by the existing shortage of houses in Edmonton)

Though data provided is from Edmonton & Calgary but we can safely assume  that it applies to the whole of Alberta as well.

calgary housing bubble average price

In my stay in Edmonton I did see that the City has tried to make a shift into other domains (specially technology) but it still remains a mainly oil driven city. Hence for this reason even though 85% of the jobs generated in Canada in 2013 were in Alberta [Ref 1] [Ref 2] – it still remains an unstable destination but then so did the Wild West when a lot of folks moved from the East in order to explore better opportunities in the West.

Why Perfect Is The Enemy Of Good
1979 Energy Crisis (Wikipedia)
he 2008 Oil Price Shock: Markets or Mayhem?
Housing Bubbles In Canada by City
Oil sands crude not as expensive to produce as it used to be
Oil Sands: The Costs of Alberta’s “Black Gold”

Andrew’s Scenic Acres

It was not one of your conventional birthday parties…once again Ikram and Hira planned yet another unique event for their daughter’s birthday.

On the outskirts of Halton Hills (reachable by 401 when you take the Trafalgar exit) is a farm called Andrew’s Scenic Acres and that was where the birthday party was planned. Though the weather got a bit chilly on a mid June Saturday afternoon but still with all the activities (ride on the trailer through the fields, picking strawberry and a guided tour with a guide who seemed to know anything and everything about farming) it was quite awesome (in Ikram’s favorite word). For me it was the ideal setting since I am also a strong believer of “Farmers feed cities” and one of my dreams to live on a farm but that is a post for another day.  Anyway back to the farm and the birthday itself….

Farm Entry
“Light refreshments”
View of the fields from the trailer ride
The “chai” which turned out to be really good!
Natural produce at the store
Andrews Acre Farms in the news
The “pop up” gazebo

50 Shades of BA

So finally I got my blog up and running after a whole bunch of years. First time I registered this domain it was a long time back but hopefully was able to get it back again and now with the help of my friend Faheem was able to get things running.


So I thought lets start posting – so today I was a panelist at one of the sessions at the Project World / Business Analyst World titled “50 Shades of BA” – How many ways can you say BA?  Application Support Analyst, Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Enterprise Architect, Functional Support Business Analyst, Programmer Analyst, Senior Analyst, Senior Business Analyst, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Senior Consultant, Senior QA Coordinator, Senior Systems Analyst, Tester and the list goes on.

Quite an interesting topic and the panel included Jason Questor and Mara Svenne with facilitation done by Tracy Duan. And I guess the topic generated a certain degree of interest since there were about 30 – 40 folks in the audience.

One thing that also surfaced was around why a lot of BA’s decide to pursue project management. One plausible reason could be because to move up management an individual needs to understand and manage budgets or have a stronger understanding of “financials” – something which is explicitly covered in PMBOK v5.0 under Cost Management but not covered as a specific section in the BABOK v2.0 or the v3.0.

Also as Jason eluded it also has to do with the word “Manager” and “Analyst” at the end which kind of paints a different picture in which an individual is perceived within an organization.

One thing there was consensus on was that the BABOK provides the underlying structure of how a BA should operate (the framework so to speak) and the organization needs to adapt it according to its own liking. Some of the different roles of BA’s are also identified in the “IIBA Competency Model” and can be a very good starting point for a discussion within the organization.

Some of the interesting things that I got to know:
1) BAB: Business Analyst – Business. A business analyst who is on the business side rather than the IT side [Though I used to refer to them as just “Business Analyst’s]
2) “The Real BA” – Some one who is a “Real” BA 🙂

Should you want to provide your feedback – please feel free to email on msaadrahman [at] yahoo dot com