Beginning to track Covid-19 Cases in Colorado by County
No longer providing additional commentary, it’s too grim. But still updating these two charts: Cases per million and Total Cases
Update 10:00a March 20
Colorado has made some nice improvements and I can now recommend a visit to https://covid19.colorado.gov/data. I still think the numbers are way too low versus reality but the reporting has improved a lot. They’re reporting 277 cases as of yesterday. My model suggests the number of cases is around 700.
In the US, number of cases jumped to 10,442 yesterday but already this morning I’m seeing 14,250 on this JHU dashboard. This is in line with my more aggressive model prediction of 13,781 cases for today.
Update 6:38p March 18
US Cases now 7,769. My prediction for today, based on the original model, was 7,203. My original prediction for tomorrow was 8,877; my new prediction for tomorrow, including more recent figures, is 9,946. The actual number is almost certainly a lot higher.
Colorado is not keeping up. They have a dedicated site at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data but total cases posted is 216, up only 32 from 184 yesterday. I think maybe they have their heads in the sand or they just have bigger fish to fry. My model suggests the current number is closer to 500 and tomorrow it should be ~700.
Update 6:25p March 17
Number of US cases is now up to 6,423 (even higher than predicted!). Colorado is not reporting a different number, they still say 160, but one news outlet reported 183. I’m pretty confident the number will go up sharply next time the Colorado Dept of Public Health posts a meaningful update.
I’ve been downloading data from a GitHub repository maintained by the John Hopkin’s University Center for Systems Science and Engineering and I’ve decided to try forecasting the number of confirmed cases in the US and in the State of Colorado.
Here’s a link to the data and my very simplistic exponential models: COVID-19 Models
As of March 16 the US has 4,632 confirmed cases. I project the number of cases will jump to ~5,800 cases tomorrow (3/17) and ~25,200 cases in one week (3/24).
In Colorado, there are currently 160 confirmed cases. I project the number of cases will jump to ~350 cases tomorrow (3/17) and ~4,000 cases in one week (3/24).
I hope both of these forecasts turn out to be way too high. We’ll see how it goes. Hang tight, friends.
The map above shows temperature anomalies across the Conterminous US for calendar year 2019 through November. These anomalies relate specifically to daily Low temperatures. Where you see red, daily low temperatures were warmer than 20th Century averages (darker reds indicate much warmer daily low temps). Generally speaking, 2019 has been a much warmer than average (vs 20th Century) year, especially in the Eastern US and along the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic Coasts (where the vast majority of Americans live). The Northern Rockies, Dakotas and western Great Plains areas have seen cooler temperatures but this isn’t as significant for most consumer products businesses because there aren’t as many people in the region.
Why look at daily low temperature anomalies? There could be many reasons but one reason is that some consumer products sell a lot more or a lot less depending on weather. For example, the starter motor in your car is far more likely to fail when the nightly low temperature is really low. So, companies in the automotive aftermarket are accustomed to selling lots of starters in the late fall and winter months when temperatures plummet.
But, what if they don’t plummet? Well, that might lead to lower sales volumes for the starter produce category. It might also leave a lot of starter inventory sitting on shelves at distribution centers. In other words, this can have a major impact on the starter motor supply chain. This appears to be the case in a large portion of the Eastern US where aftermarket companies may have expected lower sales due to milder overnight low temperatures.
And, that is exactly why Aftermarket Analytics is now offering a Climate Data Portal as part of our analytical services for the automotive aftermarket.
At Aftermarket Analytics we’ve built dozens of replacement rate models for companies in the Automotive Aftermarket. In nearly every instance we find automotive part category replacement rates are influenced heavily by geography. Typically we find vehicles driven in colder climates, like in the Upper Midwest or in New England, have higher replacement rates. The opposite is also true for some part categories vulnerable to extreme heat. As a result, we’ve spoken to a number of parts suppliers and distributors who are very interested in a better understanding of the relationship between climate and demand for replacement parts.
More recently, we’ve heard that unseasonably warm or cool weather patterns, perhaps related to climate change, are making it more difficult to accurately forecast demand for a number of key replacement part categories. In response, we are offering a new service in 2020 to help the industry address these concerns.
I’m pleased to announce that Aftermarket Analytics will begin offering a Climate Data Portal (CDP) service beginning in Q1 2020. Our CDP will provide historical and current climate and weather data, including temperature and precipitation normals along with recent daily precip and temp highs and lows for all key markets in the U.S. The portal will enable Category Management professionals and inventory managers to identify unusual weather patterns, calculate anomalies and quantify relationships between climate variables and location specific part sales. Data in the CDP will be updated on an ongoing basis and will be easy to manipulate, visualize and download for further analysis.
Contact me for more details!
Earlier this week I attended a Pueblo City Council working session where I urged City Council to do more for technology companies. My presentation was covered by the Pueblo Chieftain in an article by Ryan Severance. I read it online yesterday and was surprised to see the article on the front page of today’s paper, above the fold no less!
Pretty cool. Thank you Ryan Severance for covering the City Council meeting!
I do want to clarify what I meant in a couple of the quotes. And I’m not suggesting I was misquoted. I think Ryan Severance did a great job summarizing. I just know what I intended to say, even though I probably wasn’t as articulate as I’d like to have been. The first quote states, “An industry could take root here and it could be historically beneficial economically for the city,”. I would change just one word here from “historically” to “extraordinarily”, meaning if we establish a local software/technology ecosystem it could be extraordinarily beneficial to the local economy. The next quote I want to clarify reads, “If you want a deal with PEDCO, the money has to be used for capital expenditure, building a factory,” I meant to say, “like building a factory”. The CapEx emphasis makes sense for manufacturing and some other industries but doesn’t help a software company much at all. Finally, my last quote states, “If we can get some help, one good, successful software company cold be enough to see additional companies.” I intended to say that one successful software company “could be enough to seed additional companies.”
I know, these are very minor differences, I just feel better explaining what I meant to say.
I will indeed keep working on this for Aftermarket Analytics and for Pueblo. Hopefully we can find a way to attract technology businesses and help them thrive in Pueblo.
Update: The Pueblo Chieftain editorial board wrote an opinion piece about my presentation to City Council. Also, I’ve heard from a few who cannot access the article on the Chieftain website so I’m posting PDF versions here (see download links below).
This line chart (from the St. Louis Fed website) is one I’ve looked at many times. It tells an interesting story.
It shows monthly new car sales volume in the US going all the back to Jan 1976. Along the horizontal x-axis we have the monthly time series beginning Jan 1976 on the left moving through time until the present with last month’s car sales on the far right. Along the vertical y-axis we see new car sales volume in millions. In Jan 1976 the annual rate of new car sales, seasonally adjusted, was approximately 12.8 million. More generally, car makers were selling about 14-15 million units annually during the late 1970s. Last month, Jul 2019, the seasonally adjusted annual rate was approximately 17.3 million units, which is about where it’s been for the past 5 years. It’s been a roller coaster ride but for the domestic automotive industry volume is only up 15-20% over more than 40 years. Thankfully for the industry global growth has more than made up for relatively stagnant domestic sales.
The line chart includes shaded areas corresponding to economic recessions. You can see the dual stagflation recessions in 1980 and 1981-1982. You can see the recession in the early 1990s coming on the heels of the S&L Crisis. You can see the 2001 recession following the bursting of the Tech Bubble and you can see the recent Great Recession of 2008-2009 following the collapse of the housing and mortgage markets. Obviously, recessions aren’t great for new car sales. Usually, sales volumes decrease; sometimes they drop precipitously. It’s hard to miss the way new car sales fell off a cliff in 2009.
How is this relevant a decade later? In the Automotive Aftermarket it’s extraordinarily relevant because the “sweet spot” for automotive parts suppliers, distributors and retailers is about 10 years, more or less depending on the part category. So, while most of the economy has moved past the calamity of 2008-2009 recession, the Aftermarket is still dealing with the fallout. On the flip side, during the next decade the US aftermarket industry should experience growth mirroring the upward slope we see between 2010 and 2014. For investors or entrepreneurs looking for a silver lining in recent market volatility and increasing fears of a recession, the automotive aftermarket could provide a nice counter-cyclical investment opportunity.
I’m presenting a brief lecture today at a Cyber Security Workshop in Colorado Springs.
My presentation slides: Visualizing Cyber Security Data
I’m planning a trip to China in May 2019 and I’d like you to join me! Click here to view details including the itinerary, costs, dates, etc. Or follow this link: https://www.efcollegestudytours.com/professors-trip/2151104MA
I’ve wanted to visit China for ages but it’s been challenging to find time while juggling a career and a family of five. I have a good friend who works at Education First (EF) and so I decided to take a closer look at opportunities to travel. I like what I see and so next year I’m taking the plunge. The trip is geared toward those interested in China’s economy and culture and it’s designed primarily for college students but anyone who wants to sign up is welcome.
Why go to China with me? Well … why not? I’m not an expert in anything related to China but EF provides the guides and arranges visits to local businesses and cultural attractions in Beijing and Shanghai. I love to travel and I’m like a kid in a candy store when I arrive in a foreign land and get to explore an unfamiliar culture. I know a bit of China’s rich history, especially the 20th Century, and I have a pretty good grasp on how China’s economy has risen so dramatically over the past 30 years. But I’ve never been to China, I don’t speak Mandarin and I won’t know my way around. I’ll be exploring and learning with you, not telling you what you should know or which museum you must visit.
Anyway, I just want to start getting the word out. Our flight to Beijing leaves from the Denver airport on May 6th, 2019.
Learn more here: https://www.efcollegestudytours.com/professors-trip/2151104MA
I just published a blog post about the future of VIO data (VIO stands for Vehicles In Operation; think census of registered cars, SUVs, light trucks, etc) over at aftermarketanalytics.com.
Here’s a link to the post: https://aftermarketanalytics.com/2018/05/15/the-future-of-vio/
Please take a look if you’re interested and share!
In the past year, Aftermarket Analytics has been working hard to bring a new product to the Automotive Aftermarket. The new product, Inventory Analyst (IA), is a web service or software-as-a-service (SaaS) designed to provide an easy-to-use solution for part-level demand forecasting. Rather than trying to explain what that means I want to share with you a new video we’ve produced to demonstrate how the software works and how easy it is to use. This is less of an advertisement and more of an instructional/educational introduction to the software.
The video was produced by our new Director of Sales & Marketing, David Taylor. Take it away, David!
There will be more videos to come, so stay tuned.
I want to add that I couldn’t be more proud of my small team who made this happen. Shout out to Chris Harman who leads software development and Bobby Valentine who leads data science. I couldn’t hope for two better technology gurus and team leaders. Their overlapping teams include Michael DeGraw, Brian Hicks, Christian Bundy, Sean Fitzgerald, Yassin Bahid, Alex Marck and, before her recent retirement, Nancy Hamilton. I also want to thank David Taylor for leading our sales and marketing efforts (his work is just beginning) and Nicole Heyn who keeps all the administrative pieces of the puzzle together. Thank you all!
For several years we’ve been operating successfully as a custom software development and analytics solution provider. This represents our first effort to bring an industry solution to market so we need all the help, good vibes, karma and feedback we can get. If you have any feedback on this video, the software or how we might reach as many potential users as possible, please leave a comment here (or send me a private note using the Contact form below). If you know someone in the automotive world, especially in the automotive aftermarket, please share this with them so we can continue to learn, improve and provide extraordinary value.
Our mission is to build world-class software to help companies in the automotive aftermarket deploy inventory as efficiently as possible. In doing so, we hope to also make a very small dent in the aggregate consumption of energy and materials and take a very small step toward building a more sustainable economy.
Oh yeah, we also want to build a great company and create excellent jobs in our hometown of Pueblo, Colorado. We’re always looking for great people to join our team. Let me know if you think you might be able to help.