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…

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   Two companies will be selected to attend the WeXchange Conference to complete a second round of pitching. This event is hosted by FOMIN…

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 . Problems are opportunities disguised! Living in Jamaica, we can all relate to…

Balcostics’ Office Opening in Mandeville

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 here at Balcostics as we also celebrated our second year in business. We would like to thank all the persons who assisted with this relocation and those who attended our…

Jamaica SMEs Survey 2013

Jamaica SMEs Survey 2013. What are the Main Challenges facing Jamaican SMEs

Moments: Mogul in the Making 2013

Balcostics Limited was nominated in the Jamaica Observer's Mogul in the Making programme 2013. This year’s Mogul in the Making was held on July 10,2013 at the Courtleigh Auditorium. Twenty outstanding SMEs were recognized. We would like to extend our congratulations to all the Nominees and especially to those who were were selected as the…

Codes & Reproducible Analysis

Data analysis should be reproducible! That is, a colleague should be able to look at your codes (yes codes) and clearly understand each step that was taken to produce your results. This is not as difficult as it sounds, since all the popular statistical software (e.g. SPSS, RATS, STATA and R-stats) all allow the analysts…

Financial advice on starting a business in Jamaica

As we work ourselves out of our economic problems, Jamaicans who know how to "tek dem hand and mek fashion" will start new business ventures. Enterprising gardeners will provide services for lawn care on a more structured basis; electronic gurus will ply their trade on a greater structured basis by providing follow up service to…

Independent Contractor vs Employee: The Tax Question

Should you hire an Independent Contractor or Employee?  One is not an alternative to the other by the standards laid out by the revenue department. It is therefore crucial that business owners correctly determine whether an individual providing services is an independent contractor or an employee. The general rule is that someone is an independent…

Are You Satisfied?

What is satisfaction? How do we ask questions about satisfaction? Is there a best approach? Here we present some tips and best practices for asking satisfaction questions in a survey. 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…

Qualitative & Quantitative Sampling Methods

Research is a systematic approach to collecting, entering and analyzing data. The process of data collection begins with determining which 'sampling method(s)' one will use - qualitative or quantitative. This slideshow provides a practical 'how-to guide' in sampling techniques, looking at the qualitative versus the quantitative approaches. At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders…

The Art of Survey Design

Surveys like products work best when we have a well thought out design. More researchers need to pay attention to how they design their surveys. We found this insightful slideshow which highlight some tips and best practices.   At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better…

Market Research & Emerging Markets

Another thoughtful answer to a question many have asked: How do we approach market research in an emerging market like Jamaica?   We found this insightful, yet simple answer on Quora: "Market research is a very important part of a business and when you are entering into an emerging market it is of utmost importance…

The Research Continues: YS Falls & Negril

We continue to highlighting the fun side of researching in Jamaica. We visited the breadbasket parish of St. Elizabeth and went further west into Negril. Again, we use this medium to say thanks to the management and staff at YS Falls for warmly accommodating us - YS Falls is truly breathtaking and we do encourage…