bgdn.me

This is a view into my thoughts, interests, and activities.

Blog Articles


  • Mon 15 March 2021
  • Blog

Pull Smartsheet data into Google Sheets

This is a follow-up on this post. Since the time I published it, I've made a couple of improvements that I wanted to share. First, I've started using Smartsheet reports as the data source instead of sheets. It's because there might be occasional changes to the underlying sheet (like moving …

  • Sat 02 January 2021
  • Blog

The top 10 books I read in 2020

Like many in the past 2020, I had more time to devote to reading books. Overall, I have read 20+ books, which is higher than usual. Below is the list of 10 books that I liked the most. The list goes in reverse chronological order. Red Famine: Stalin's War on …

  • Thu 06 August 2020
  • Blog

Synchronize Google Sheets with Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a powerful, spreadsheet-like tool. It helps to automate processes in your team. In my current company, we've been using it for years to support project management. Plans, issue logs, risk registers, project dashboards, task trackers - just to name a few examples of what we use Smartsheet for. However …

  • Tue 16 June 2020
  • Blog

Making Gantt charts work

Using Gantt charts as a form of project schedule for fixed-price IT projects, I’ve encountered the following problems: To build a schedule, you have to put all the tasks in a specific order. It’s typically a finish-to-start dependency. However, this is not what happens sometimes. More often than …

  • Wed 08 April 2020
  • Blog

The Median in Smartsheet

If you needed the median function in Smartsheet, but couldn't find it, don't get upset. That function, indeed, is not present among supported functions; however, there is the percentile function available in Smartsheet. And the good news is that the median is just another name for the 50th percentile. To …

  • Mon 02 March 2020
  • Blog

Data visualization skills

As IT professionals, we deal with quantitative information quite a lot — on a daily basis, literally. Many of us present numeric data to colleagues: be it a report, forecast, or information dashboard. However, only a few possess the basic skills to present numbers well. Most of us have never been …

  • Fri 17 January 2020
  • Blog

Personal finance dashboard in Google Data Studio

To better understand my expense habits and overall spending, I used to track my financial transactions in a mobile application. I would manually put data after each payment. I was doing it for a couple of years until I realized that it didn’t quite help me. First, since most …

  • Thu 02 January 2020
  • Blog

The top 8 books I read in 2019

These are the books I liked the most in 2019: Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method by Gerald M. Weinberg Free Will by Sam Harris Fathers and Children by Ivan Turgenev Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring Hardcover by …

  • Mon 28 October 2019
  • Blog

Project Manager's Dashboard

When you manage several projects simultaneously, you have to switch context quite a lot. It's important to have a tool that helps update awareness of the current situation on a particular project. You need a dashboard. Information dashboard, when well designed, is a good means to update situational awareness at …

  • Wed 31 July 2019
  • Blog

Project Retrospective Data

When you face a problem in your project, don’t get frustrated. Take another perspective: It’s an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to improve yourself or your team. Failure, however painful and stressful, is a resource, so embrace it. Of course, in order for problems to benefit you, you …