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 brought us from Treasure Beach St Elizabeth in a 3-hour boat ride (Speed Boat) and the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard who took us back to Kingston in a 7-hour boat ride.

 

Lodging

We spent two nights in this hurricane proof camp thanks to The Nature Conservancy.

 

Fisherfolks

Hundreds of fisherfolks make their living from Pedro Bank, we’re grateful they took some time out to share with us.

 

We are concerned about the unsanitary conditions on Middle Cay as there are no bathroom facilities for the fishermen and garbage pollution is a serious issue.

 

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

Fish Sanctuaries: Ensuring Jamaica’s Future Fish Supply

Recently we concluded a survey among fisherfolks across seven (7) fish sanctuaries (Bluefields, Salt Harbour, Galleon Harbour, Three Bays, Boscobel, Oracabessa and Galleon St. Elizabeth) in Jamaica.

What is a Fish Sanctuary? 

A Fish Sanctuary is a coastal area where no fishing is allowed so that fish (and other sea life) have a sea haven to breed and grow to increase the fish stock and keep it healthy.

Here are some highlights from our visits:

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

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 deep rural communities and finding the specific Focus Group venue proved challenging. Be cognizant of additional time for wrong turns (transportation) 🙂
  • Provide Refreshments – It’s a great way to make participants comfortable and they will likely share more information with you.

Here are some highlights from our numerous trips:

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

 

The Myth of Random Sampling

Learn and Teach Mathematics and Statistics

I feel a slight quiver of trepidation as I begin this post – a little like the boy who pointed out that the emperor has  no clothes.

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. But teachers of statistics live in a strange half-real-half-theoretical world, where no one likes to point out that real-life samples are seldom random.

The problem in general

In order for most inferential statistical conclusions to be valid, the sample we are using must obey certain rules. In particular, each member of the population must have equal possibility of being chosen. In this way we reduce the opportunity for systematic error, or bias. When a truly random sample is taken, it is almost miraculous how well we can make conclusions…

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England health data fiasco provides perfect case study in the importance of trust

Gigaom

It’s one of the great questions of our times: if you have loads of interesting data that can be used for the benefit of all, how does that square up against people’s desire, or indeed right, to maintain control over their own information? I suspect there are many such debates on the horizon, but for now you’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect case study than that of England’s National Health Service (NHS) and the data it holds on its patients.

This is a highly politicized mess, as the British government is gradually privatizing the NHS, but the key facts stand above that particular fray.

Let’s see what happens in the cloud…

Over the last 15 years or so, the NHS has become increasingly computerized, and it is now at the point where data about hospital and general practitioner visits will soon all be accessible from the same place…

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Linkedin research confirms Jamaican findings: The majority of SMEs are using Social Media in their businesses

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 Balcostics in our Jamaican SMEs Survey Report, where 78% of Jamaican SMEs indicated that they were actively using Social media in their respective businesses. See visualization of our results below:

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Are you currently using social media in your business? If not, now is a great time to start (Just look at the data)!

At Balcostics our mission is to empower decision makers with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

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Are you solving the right problems? Research Tips

Dwayne Spradlin highlighted in his Havard business review article “Are you solving the right problems?”, the importance of asking the right questions and thoroughly defining the problem.

Solving the right problems

Be extremely careful in the initial stages of a research, when you are preparing your proposal and outlining your purpose. Seek assistance to clearly outline your research question and objectives, especially if you’re uncertain about there effectiveness in providing the required information needed to make decisions.

At Balcostics our mission is to empower decision makers with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

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Research news across the world via twitter

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Do Jamaicans share the same Facebook dislikes as Americans?

In a recent survey, Pew Research Center asked 1,801 American adults what they like and dislike about the social network. The way people share photos and other personal content were the main issues identified by the majority of Americans. 36% of users reported “strong dislike” for people who share too much information about themselves, while 25% said they “somewhat dislike” such people.

facebook-survey

Do you share some of these same dislikes? Answer the poll below or share a comment.

Balcostics Among 12 Finalists for Caribbean & Latin America Investor Pitch Competition

We are happy to announce that Balcostics Limited has been selected as one of 12 finalists in the Caribbean and Latin America Investor pitch competition. Learn more about the other finalists here

Balcostics_Financing

 

Two companies will be selected to attend the WeXchange Conference to complete a second round of pitching. This event is hosted by FOMIN in partnership with Ellas² and NXTPLabs and will be held in Miami in December.

We pray for God’s guidance and do keep us in your prayers as we continue on this quest to change the status quo relating to information & decision making across the Caribbean.

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.

1in10 entrepreneurs

Jamaican entrepreneurs were more motivated by the mindset of actually owning a business – it was a “personal goal” (35%). In  addition, there were some who “saw the market opportunity” (34%) and those who wanted to find the “freedom that owning a business allows” (16%). More males were in it for the freedom, while more females saw it as a personal goal.

Entrepreneurs are social beings who are not fully understood based on their complete and blatant need for actualizing the possibility of a business idea. This is what we found to be the main fiber that connects the Jamaican entrepreneur to those of the world, not the money!

Written by: Shanna Kaye Wright (Balcostics’ Team Member)

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

Jamaica SMEs Survey 2013

Balcostics Ltd in partnership with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) conducted a survey of Jamaican SMEs who were in attendance at the recently held “NCB/ IDB SME Conference” sponsored by the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica (NCB), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).  The conference was held over a three day weekend (June 21st -23rd,2013), at the Hilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.

The survey provide answers to the following questions:

  1. Who are Jamaica’s rising SMEs? (age, gender, education level, years in operation)
  2. What are the main challenges facing SMEs?
  3. What are the main reasons persons’ choose entrepreneurship?
  4. What type of social media, if any, are entrepreneurs using in their businesses?

Jamaica SME Challenges

Download a copy of the full report highlights: click here

Jamaica SMEs Survey download

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

Top 5 Posts in 2012: Balcostics’ Year in Review

2012 came with its fair share of challenges and triumphs. We take this opportunity to thank everyone for their encouragement and support. See below some stats on our website and what you our viewers found most interesting in 2012.

The following shows the ‘Top Five Posts‘ that got the most views in 2012:

  1. Top 10 Dancehall/Reggae Artistes on Social Media
  2. Winning Schools: Champs stats from 1910 – 2011
  3. Food for Thought: The Research behind eating Jamaican
  4. Exploiting Jamaica’s Hydroelectric Potential
  5. Is there a methodology for collecting Big Data?

Facebook, reddit, twitter & linkedin were among the top referral sources to balcostics.com.

how did they find balcosticsVisitors to balcostics.com came from across the world, 122 countries in total. The majority of visitors were from Jamaica, The United States & Canada.

Where balcostics visitors

The Five Hottest Occupations in Jamaica

Where are you mostly likely to be employed in Jamaica? Which occupations do employers seek most? The following infographics highlight the five hottest occupations in Jamaica, based on demand (advertisement in the Jamaica Observer & Gleaner) from employers:

Five Hottest Occupations in Jamaica

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

Jamaica Olympics Medal Stats (1948 – 2012)

Jamaica is renown for it’s excellence in track & field. In this infographics, we highlight Jamaica’s performance at each Olympics from 1948 to 2012 London games. With Rio 2016 only a few months away, we pause to reflect on our past achievements.

What’s your prediction for the total number of medals Jamaica will earn in Rio?

Balcostics Olympics infographic-2016

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

Top 10 Dancehall/Reggae Artistes on Social Media – V1.0

This updated version of our ‘Top 10 dancehall/reggae artistes on social media’, highlight the inclusion of Gyptian and Jah Cure to our list. Gyptian has entered our ranking in the #3 position and Jah Cure #6.

This list is created via information gathered from the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Jamaican Artistes – rankings are based on the total number of “Likes” and “Follows”.

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

 

Winning Schools: Champs Stats since 1910

How much do you really know about Jamaica’s premier Schools Athletic Championship? Did you know that:

  1. Boys Champs begun in 1910 – Wolmers High School won
  2. Girls Champs begun in 1957 – St. Hilda’s High School won
  3. Boys Champs was held separately from Girls Champs
  4. In 1999, Boys and Girls Champs were merged into one event
  5. There was no Champs held in 1944 (Boys Champs), 1958, 1959 and 1960 (Girls Champs)

Here is our ranking of schools that have won over the years:
Boys and Girls Championship Infographic

If you enjoyed our data visualization, please share 🙂

 

At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here