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 better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here

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.

By visualizing prior studies and comparing official figures from national statistics with what samples of people think/ perceive reality to be, Alan’s presentation shows the disparity between what we think we know and the actual facts – most often than not, the difference is preposterous. In an era of ‘Fake News’ and dubious information, an appreciation for the veracity of statistics is evident.

 

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

 

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

 

Why we make bad decisions [Video]

decision wrongDan 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.

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

Balcostics: 2013 Year in Review

It was Sir Richard who said “Screw it, Let’s do it!” and this was certainly our theme at Balcostics for 2013 as the company experienced many successes and stayed focus to our mission of empowering leaders (from all walks of life) to use information for better decision making.

Our Client base

Our client base continues to grow both locally and internationally as we push to become a global brand for research outsourcing, data analysis, data visualization/ presentation, data gathering and surveys. See list with portfolio of major clients to date.

Our Team

With a growing team of young, tech-savvy Analysts, Researchers, Project Managers and Interviewers, we have built a family passionate about research and providing value for money. We spent 2013 across the island visiting malls, tourist attraction areas and even in the hills of a few rural districts.

NCB SMEs Conference/ Jamaica SMEs Survey 2013

During the period June 21st through June 23rd , Balcostics Ltd in partnership with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) conducted a survey of Jamaican SMEs who were in attendance at the “NCB/ IDB SME Conference.” The conference was held over a three day period at the Hilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay. Approximately 130 operators of Small & Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) were in attendance. From this conference, we published the Jamaica SMEs Survey Report 2013

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Mandeville Office Opening

On August 16, 2013 we opened our head office in  Mandeville (Unit #7, Q-Villa Plaza, 5-7 Villa Road). This was truly a special occasion for us, as we also celebrated our second year in business.

Mogul in the Making Nomination

Balcostics Limited was nominated in the Jamaica Observer’s Mogul in the Making programme 2013. This awards ceremony was held on July 10.

 

WeXchange Pitch Conference

We were elated to be told that “Balcostics is INVESTMENT READY” when we participated in this Conference as the only Caribbean-based company. This was organized by the MIF in collaboration with NXTPLabs and Ellas. WeXchange was an event for entrepreneurs, investors and professionals seed capital and angel investors to exchange ideas, explore opportunities and strengthen ties in the region.

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Jamaica’s biggest problems are opportunities

Recently I read a post on LinkedIn titled “We need our brightest people working on our biggest problem “. The post was written by Bill Gates, who made reference to his foundation and their fight to eradicate polio and other global diseases .

Brightest Minds

Problems are opportunities disguised! Living in Jamaica, we can all relate to problems/ issues that militate against our productivity & efficiency. Depending on your perspective, Jamaica’s problems present opportunities for us to make a difference – while making a profit.

The main problem areas

1.High Unemployment & Low Production – opportunities for reducing unemployment & increasing production of goods & services are available in several emerging industries. Areas such as ‘medical marijuana’, ‘health tourism’, ‘sports tourism’, ‘Business process outsourcing’, ‘music production’, ‘Art & craft’ are showing great potential. Jamaica’s highly skilled, yet largely unemployed labour force is providing the impetus for greater investment (outsourcing – business processing, research, animation, graphics design, web development etc.).

2. Education – Education that creates producers not consumers. Education related to independent thinking, business & personal development, cash flow, personal finances and health is a great area of opportunity.

3. Health – Obesity is an insidious problem, related in some ways to a lack of education and indiscipline. Hypertension along with other life style diseases posed a significant problem for our people. According to a World Bank study, 60% of Jamaicans aged 35 to 54 were either overweight or obese. This same study also found that approximately 70% of Jamaican women were overweight, 80% of whom were in the 35-54 age group. Several drugs & medications are prescribed for mitigating the impact of these illnesses but the opportunity for entrepreneurs lie in the prevention of these alignments (Prevention better than cure). A few local companies have started exploiting the business of keeping people healthy & fit, but we still have a far way to go – more opportunities to exploit

4. Energy – we should continue to strive for a solar energy future. As solar panels become cheaper (Solar panel prices down 80%), we should start positioning our country to benefit fully from solar energy – more creative thinking is need to provide affordable solar energy solutions to Jamaicans. Currently most Jamaicans don’t have the wherewithal to install solar energy solutions – what can we do to change this? There is also potential to create employment through conservation & environmentally friendly initiatives.

5. Lack of data for decision makers – This area is under my purview and at Balcostics Ltd we provide research solutions that we hope will make information more affordable & accessible. Yet, we still have a far way to go – more opportunities abound in this field.

6. Inadequate water harvesting & storage – this is evident from Jamaica’s annual island-wide drought problems. In short, the National Water Commission (NWC) needs a competitor!

7. Slow Justice system – recently another US report criticized the sad state of Jamaica’s justice system. What if anything could new graduates & senior legal professionals who are unsatisfied with the status quo do to improve this situation? The ‘so called’ problem of ‘too many lawyers’ will hopefully provide the impetus needed to change the Justice system for the better.

Therefore, which of these problems will you make your mission? Which of these areas can you make just a little better? Which of these issues are you passionate about?

Do you have any to add? Please share in the comments below

Written by:

Luwayne Thomas (Founder, Balcostics Ltd.)

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

 

NCB SME Conference: Balcostics’ Moments

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Our team at the NCB SME Conference

Contact us today! Ask us how we can help you make informed decisions

Contact us today! Ask us how we can help you make informed decisions

IMG_00000158Our COO explaining what we do here at Balcostics LtdOur COO explaining what we do here at Balcostics Ltd

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Informing persons about our research services

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Abi-Gaye and Luwayne listening attentively at the conference

Research in Bog Walk, St.Catherine

Our Balcostics Team is conducting research in the parish of St.Catherine!

See highlights

 

Understanding Dependent & Independent Variables #Animation

In doing research and data analysis, many have struggled with differentiating between the dependent and independent variables when running statistical tests and/or experiments. A clear understanding of these two concepts will play a major role in an individual’s thinking as a researcher/ experimenter.

This animation seeks to address this common challenge of differentiating between the independent & dependent variables in a research.

In the Field: The Historic Falmouth Pier

See why we enjoy what we do! Our team had a wonderful time in Falmouth, see the highlights below (click on photos to view as slides):

Market Research Basics

The following question was asked on Quora: “How do you conduct market research?”

This answer by Cate Riegner, was as simple and concise as we could do, so here is it:

Balcostics Research

“Think in terms of different methodologies and consider which ones are right for your needs at various stages of business development, product development and marketing:

1. Syndicated/secondary research: This would be research conducted on/for a particular market that provides market sizing information, penetration data, trending data, etc. Search for published findings at trade organization sites, investment sites, etc. The challenge is finding a study that is relevant to your specific needs, and many charge a fee for a published report.

2. Custom quantitative: If you want quantitative data or feedback on a very specific subject related to your product (e.g., behaviors, attitudes, product concept testing), consider doing your own survey.  The challenge here is making sure your sample is “representative” of the market you want to study, your survey is designed well (e.g., no leading questions, appropriate scales), you process and report data accurately. There are great, affordable survey programming/hosting tools out there (e.g, SurveyMonkey), but you need to pay for sample, survey design and possibly analysis depending on your needs.

3. Custom qualitative: This might be user testing, ethnography, interviews, blind-shopper stuides, focus groups (either online or offline). People put a lot more weight on quantitative data (because it is statistically reliable), but I am a huge advocate of qualitative research for deeper, richer insights.  Don’t discount it just because the sample size is small. The question you need to consider here is: Which approach/method is best for what I want to learn/problem I want to solve?  Each of the types of qualitative research I listed above is better for different needs.

4. Analytic data: A lot of data is generated for free online, through traffic logs, blogs, etc. The challenge here is collecting the data and conducting an analysis/generating findings that can be applied to your specific question/problem you are trying to solve.”

Check out all the answers to the above question on Quora.