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…

Using research to better understand customers [Video]

How is it possible to effectively understand your target customers? One thing we know for sure, it's not magic! Answer: Market Research Learn more about our research services for individual and companies: Click here Get our daily JSE Reviews & other Caribbean related research articles via our Blackberry App (all models). Click here to download or scan…

Understanding sampling methods [Animation]

Random sampling is a myth. Practical researchers know this and deal with it. Theoretical statisticians live in a theoretical world where random sampling is possible and ubiquitous – which is just as well really ~ Dr Nic. This engaging and simple video covers five sampling methods that you need to know, they are as follows:…

Statistical Analysis of TEDTalks: Fun Stats [Video]

Sebastian Wernicke turns the tools of statistical analysis on TEDTalks, to come up with a metric for creating "the optimum TEDTalk" based on user ratings. How do you rate it? Get our daily JSE Reviews & other Caribbean related research articles & data visualization via our Blackberry App (all models). Click here to download or scan QR…

Boys & Girls Champs (1910 – 2013): Animation & Infographics

The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, also known as CHAMPS is in its 104th staging. Did you know? 1. The Boys’ and Girls’ Championships were merged in 1999. 2. The inaugural staging of CHAMPS was won by the maroon and gold team from  Wolmer’s Boys in 1910. 3. The first Girls’…

6 steps to executing a successful Focus Group

During my final year at university, I conducted my first focus group. What seemed like a daunting task, was a success due to adequate preparation. Today, I would like to share some best practices on how to effectively execute your first focus group. Focus groups are a form of qualitative research that basically explores different…

Understanding hypothesis testing [Animation]

Using practical business examples and animation, this entertaining video shows step-by-step procedure on how to execute a hypothesis test. You can also get access to an on-line course which contains little quizzes to help you understand the videos. This is on http://www.statslc.com/   At Balcostics our mission is to empower decision makers with the required…

Is ICT the answer to more young Jamaicans choosing agriculture?

Even though employment options and entrepreneurial opportunities are few in Jamaica, it seems as if many Jamaican youth would prefer not to pursue agriculture as a career. Aging Workforce Data from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority [RADA] (2006) revealed that up to that time, the average age of registered farmers in Jamaica was 57.5 years…

How to fix Jamaica’s justice system in less than 5 years

On February 26 we published an article titled, "The ‘Data Problem’ hampering Jamaica’s Court System". Today, Donovan Ferguson examines possible solutions - over to Donovan: I am of the view that now is the best possible time to correct this problem; here are my reasons for saying this: 1. Jamaica now has an advance telecommunication system.…

The ‘Data Problem’ hampering Jamaica’s Court System

Recently I published a study examining the Jamaican Court System, the following areas were scrutinized: The Criminal Divisions of the Supreme and Resident Magistrate Courts The Gun Court The Family Court The Coroner’s Court My research found that the Jamaican Court’s information management system is manual, heavily paper-based and inadequate to provide needed real-time data.…

Debunked: The myth that Apple doesn’t conduct market research

I have often heard it said that Apple is a visionary company and they "don't do market research". I think it is true they don't defer to consumers on big product decisions. No one should! I know for a fact that they do customer satisfaction surveys and I would be very surprised if they don't…

Business insights & decision making: Research Tips

There are several ways businesses benefit from talking with customers & potential customers, among them are the following: Getting a better understanding of market opportunities - what would these customers want from you? What do they think you can improve on? What are their pricing tolerance? What feature needs do these customers want? Most start-ups are…

Who was first? Development or Information

Information goes hand –in hand with development. The most developed countries are the most informed countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Singapore), these countries have readily available data on almost all aspects of their society’s, behaviour, attitude, consumption, economy, internet usage etc. The global growth of the internet and social media networks (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare ect.) has…

Validate your business ideas with customer research: Tips

Most entrepreneurs should be familiar with the basics of Lean Start-up methodology: Start by searching for product/market fit. Get out of the building and talk to customers. Run a series of experiments to validate your ideas. Above all else, validate your thinking as early as possible: don’t spend millions of dollars building something before you…

Yes you can conduct your own survey! Research Tips

Conducting your own survey is always possible once you have the time and patience to cover the best practices. It's fairly easy and yes you can do it! Prior to starting a survey, one should… Define a clear purpose for the survey Create research objectives/research questions you intend to answer Decide on a methodology to…

The majority of SMEs are utilizing Social Media

New research from LinkedIn found that the majority of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to social media for growth. Roughly 81% of SMBs are using social media, according to a LinkedIn study released Thursday, and of those that use social, 94% do so for marketing purposes. - mashable LinkedIn's findings are also identical to those found by…

When to leave your Job to start a business

This post is inspired by a recent question I was asked by Rory Walker (@redrory) via twitter, about how I made the transition from a full-time job (Research & Development Analyst at Guardian Life Ltd.) to working full-time in my own company (Balcostics Ltd.). Factors in Making the decision: Clear major debt –after finishing UWI,…

Use Research Questions to focus: Research Tips

A research question is a clear, focused, concise and arguable question around which you center your research project. You should ask a question about an issue that you are genuinely curious about. For example, What impact (if any) will a $100 increase have on customers willingness to purchase my product? Good Research Questions bring focus Research questions…

Correlation or Causation: The most common errors made in data analysis

The research field is prone to errors with significant consequences on generalizing results and interpreting statistical relationships.The following are some of the most common: Assuming you have a representative sample: This error is common especially in large data sets (big data). The results may look convincing, but the sample does not represent a true picture…

Home-Based Businesses,The Way Forward For Jamaica

Encouraging home-based businesses as a sector is a smart move in any economy, but for the Jamaican economy it is even more important as we pull out of this recession and into a period of recovery and growth.

Jamaican Entrepreneurs are not in it solely for the money!

Only about 1 in 10 Jamaican entrepreneurs saw the possibility of great financial reward as the main driver (impetus) for starting their own business – The Jamaica SMEs Survey Report 2013. Jamaican entrepreneurs were more motivated by the mindset of actually owning a business – it was a “personal goal” (35%). In  addition, there were…