Fun Stats: Top 5 Dancehall Artists on YouTube & Instagram

The animated video below (showing the Top 5 male & Female Dancehall artists on YouTube & Instagram) is the first in our fun stats series of animation and illustration videos. We hope you find the information interesting and insightful.

Data Collection in August Town

Over a three day period (October 12-14) , team Balcostics was in the community of August Town interviewing residents. Thank you to the residents of this community for their warm welcome. Here are photo highlights from our visits:     At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make…

What you think you know: Compare to Statistical Facts

In this very insightful TedTalk, Alan Smith outlined the false dichotomy that there are only two types of people: those who're good with numbers & those who're not.

Data Collection on Pedro Cays

Over a two day visit to Pedro Cays (November 6th to 8th), which is about 80 km south and southwest of Jamaica, our team collected data through face-to-face interviews with fisherfolks. Here are some highlights from our trip: Transportation The only means of transportation to Pedro Cays is by boat (or helicopter). Thanks to Captain Dennis who…

Trademark Surveys: Combining Research and Law

Trademark confusion surveys bring together both of my passions – research & law. In the world of Intellectual Property, many companies are now ensuring that their trademarks are not confused with competitors. https://youtu.be/SJrgbQE4xyU In recent years, the courts in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have seen a drastic increase in the number…

Fish Sanctuaries: Ensuring Jamaica’s Future Fish Supply

Recently we concluded a survey among fisherfolks across seven (7) fish sanctuaries in Jamaica

Conducting Qualitative Research across Jamaica: Highlights

Team Balcostics recently concluded a qualitative research (Focus Groups & Qualitative Surveys) project involving youths, small and large scale farmers across 9 parishes in Jamaica. The following are some lessons  learnt: Scheduling & organizing participants - give participants at least one week notice to prepare and adjust their schedule. Logistics - Some of the target groups were located in…

This is how Small Businesses should use Market Research

Market research is very useful for small businesses. As a small business, especially doing something disruptive, you have to follow your gut much more than in other scenarios, for sure and there are some types of research that will not be applicable. Three things I have learned about marketing and market research: Online surveys are…

Data Driven: Jamaican Schools Must Use Data To Improve Performance

Creating a data driven culture in Jamaica

Sunlight’s impact on lowering blood pressure

It's common knowledge that humans get Vitamin D from the sun, but as dermatologist Richard Weller suggests, sunlight may also have another surprising benefit. New research by his team shows that nitric oxide, a chemical transmitter stored in huge reserves in the skin, can be released by UV light, to great benefit for blood pressure and the…

If you think money can’t buy happiness, you’re not spending it right!

Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people. At Balcostics our mission is to empower decision makers with the required data and information…

Training in the Electronic Data Collection System (EDACS)

Our team was trained in the use of eDACs, an automated paperless system developed by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). This partnership with STATIN is a match made in statistics! We will collect data using tablet computers in our upcoming project with companies across Jamaica. Special thanks to Mr.Howard Hamilton. director of the information and…

Dare to be Different: 4 Best Practices

I was asked recently to present at a Youth Camp under the theme "Dare To Be Different". The camp was held in the cool hills of NewPort, Manchester. I was overjoyed to share my experience with so many wonderful campers. My first question...   I hope you feel inspired to embrace your difference! Be the change you want…

Why we make bad decisions [Video]

Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ5f5h_owY

More women now die of heart disease than men [Research]

There are approximately 800,000 Jamaican women (20 - 64 years old) currently at risk of heart disease. Women under the age of 65, especially those with a family history of heart disease, should pay close attention to heart disease risk factors. Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused…

Data visualization of HIV’s complex risk factors

Hans Rosling unveils new data visuals that untangle the complex risk factors of one of the world's deadliest (and most misunderstood) diseases: HIV. He argues that preventing transmissions — not drug treatments — is the key to ending the epidemic.   At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information…

Yes you should smile more & we have research to prove it :-)

There is a saying that goes like this, "smile a while and give your face a rest" - now, we have science to verify the validity of this statement :-). Below, Ron Gutman reviews several research studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll…

What’s your views on a Happy Planet Index?

Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity — instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You…

Your phone company is watching

With the recent trial and conviction of popular dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel, most Jamaicans were surprised to learn that both network providers (Digicel Jamaica & Lime Jamaica) store records of phone-calls, text messages among other personal information for several years. According to the Interception of Communication Act, if the police has reasonable grounds that your device…

Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime

When she became the attorney general of New Jersey in 2007, Anne Milgram quickly discovered a few startling facts: not only did her team not really know who they were putting in jail, but they had no way of understanding if their decisions were actually making the public safer. And so began her ongoing, inspirational…

Corruption impact on economic growth

This study of forty two developing countries uses Panel Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares – PDOLS - to examine the relationship between foreign direct investment, corruption and economic growth. The results suggest that corruption has a significant influence on per capita GDP in the short run but is not significant in the long run. It was…

Using Google data to visualize Vybz Kartel’s rise & fall (2004 – 2014)

With several local and international publications and online discussions surrounding the recent conviction of popular dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel, we got the idea to examine online "interest" in 'Vybz Kartel' from 2004 to present (March 2014). According to Google, interest in 'Vybz Kartel' peaked twice over the period (2004 - 2014), in October 2011 (Vybz…