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

 

 

There is nothing Boring About Statistics

“There’s nothing boring about stats” – Hans Rosling. In this one hour documentary, Hans Rosling highlights the joys of statistics and the inherent beauty in the numbers.

Jamaicans Faster Than Bullet: Infographics

infographic

Jamaica and ‘Big Data’: The Future of Research

The emergence of ‘big data‘ – the wealth of information being collected daily on customer behaviour and attitude via websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc – will cause a change in research as we know it. Internationally, the ‘big data’ discourse have gone a far way, however no mention has been made regarding its impact locally.

Data collection change:

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and foursquare to name a few, collect millions of data on customers and website users on a daily basis. Some of the data collected are as follows:

  1. Location – Foursquare or Facebook check in
  2. Feelings/ opinions – Twitter posts about mood
  3. Sentiments – about a company or product
  4. Likes – what you are interested in
  5. Demographic information – age & gender

Among other data that is freely shared by users of these free services. The days of physically walking ‘door to door’ asking questions in order to collect data are numbered, data is constantly being produced and stored, the problem (or opportunity) is now the utilization of this available data – that’s where the alignment of software developers and the statisticians/ or data analyst is critical.

Jamaica has a growing tech community with several graphic designers and application developers all developing solutions they hope consumers will like and purchase. Few have seen the value in strategically developing applications which are data driven, that is, along with providing value to the consumer they actually collect valuable data from them.

Jamaica and by extension the wider Caribbean region is faced with many development problems, chief among them are high crime rates, high cost of justice, low customer service (both public and private sectors), high cost of collecting data, low levels of efficiency in production etc. The above problems represent areas where additional data could help to ameliorate if not solve many of these issues. The nexus between developers and data analyst holds tremendous opportunities for improved efficiency and data gathering throughout the Caribbean. More data, better analysis, more insights and more solutions to current problems.

The change is underway:

IBM, for example offers a text analytics software which allows users to gather and analyze data from Twitter and Facebook postings about a company. That is, using their text analytics software, you can get an overall picture of customer/ user sentiments about a company.

Just consider the implications this might have on the future of polls! Based on tweets and social media sentiments, one could actually be able to predict election outcomes with 0% margin of error – talk about big data!

Companies collecting ‘big data’ will hold tremendous insights relating to its consumers and a country’s population in general. Imagine being able to see attitude change in real-time, to see customer feedback about service and being able to quickly respond to negative sentiments.

CVM came under tremendous pressure from Jamaicans via the social media throughout most of the London 2012 Olympics. This dissatisfaction with the company’s coverage was evident on Twitter days before being published in the local news papers. This is one example of the future potential of ‘big data analysis’ in Jamaica, and its implication for large establishments.

The new age of research will see the rise of the analyst and presenter, persons/ companies skilled in interpreting and gathering insights from large volumes of data. This is especially true for big companies serving large demographics of customers.

share your comments/ views.

Visionary Entrepreneur

About the authorLuwayne Thomas is Co-founder & COO @balcostics

Follow me on twitter: @LuwayneThomas

 

 

 

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

An Analysis of Violent & Property Crime in Jamaica

This study sought to investigate the impact of police population, arrests rates, unemployment, educational attainment, average income, income inequality and degree of garrisonization on the incidence of violent crimes and property crimes in Jamaica.

Main Findings:

The rate of arrest and average income variables were found to be robust (strong) determinants of violent crime, with both exhibiting a negative relationship. That is, an increase in either arrest rates or average income would be associated with a decrease in violent crimes.

The results for property crime were quite different; the arrest rate was not found to be significant, while average income was found to be positively correlated to the incidence of property crimes. Income inequality (as measured by the Gini Index) also proved to be a positive determinant of property crime.

The policy implications of this paper are as follows:

1. In order to combat violent crime local authorities should focus on improving the arrest rates for violent offenses as opposed to trying to influence any of the other variables investigated in this paper.

2. Though it may be tempting to tout economic growth as a strategy for reducing violent crimes, this would result in a trade-off between violent crime and property crimes, with the latter responding far more sensitively.

3. Reducing the inequality gap is the most effective means by which the authorities may pursue a reduction in property crime. Although average income was also found to be a significant factor, it exhibited a positive relationship, meaning that economic growth should not be expected to deter property crime. On the contrary, the results suggest that property crime in Jamaica is likely to be exacerbated by growth, unless the growth effect is offset by an aggressive reduction in income inequality.

Author: Nadia Grant- Reid, Bsc., MSc.
UWI Lecturer of Economics (Western Campus)

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

 

Conducting your own survey? Here is a quick guide

What is a survey?

It is  the systematic/structured gathering of information from a sample/ proportion of individuals for the main purpose of making conclusions/predictions about a larger population/group.

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 collect the data required

 Popular ways of administering a survey:

  1. Online via a website
  2. Online via email campaign
  3. Face-to-face interviews
  4. Interviews via telephone

In general, the method you choose to administer your survey questionnaire will be dependent on the following: Read more of this post

Exploiting Jamaica’s Hydroelectric Potential

Jamaica, the paradise island that is sometimes referred to as “the land of wood and water,” has great hydroelectric potential due to its topography and climate. Out of 120 rivers, the Island has several that are suitable for hydroelectricity power generation. Prime among them are:

1. Back Rio Grande – located in the parish of Portland
2. Great River – borders the parishes of St. James and Hanover
3. Laughlands Great River – is located in the parish of St. Ann
4. Rio Grande – is located in the parish of Portland Read more of this post

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

 

What’s stopping your Financial Success?

Purpose of Article:

  • To highlight some of the main factors preventing achievement of goals
  • To present plausible actions and recommendations to overcome above mentioned problems
Discussion of Findings:

By reading extensively, as well observing the habits of high achievers and those who fail to achieve, I have been able to identify some of the main problems that prevent many people from getting ahead financially and in other areas of their lives.

Lack of vision

“What do you want out of life?” Many people have no answer for this question, as they have never stopped to think about it. Others often express vague wishes for material things such as a home or more money, without having any clarity on the specifics surrounding them.

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it,” Napoleon Hill declares. You must develop a very clear intention about your future if you are going to change your finances.

Lack of belief

Too many people destroy their own dreams because they don’t really believe in themselves or their ability to achieve them. “When the mind disbelieves or doubts,” David Schwartz reveals, “the mind attracts ‘reasons’ to support the disbelief.” Read more of this post

The Effect of Natural Disasters on Remittance Inflows: Jamaica’s Experience

Purpose of Study:

  • To Quantify the effects of natural disasters on remittance inflows to Jamaica

Data source:

Results:

    • The results indicate that in the presence of a natural disaster in a given quarter, remittances would increase by an additionally 0.044% in that same quarter.

Read more of this post

The Performance of the JSE index and its Impact on Economic Growth

Purpose of Study:

      • To determine, if there exist a statistical relationship between the performance of the JSE index and economic growth (GDP) – Jamaica.
      • To determine the the direction of the relationship – test to see if movements in the JSE cause GDP to change or the opposite.

Data sources for study:

    • The researcher utilized quarterly time series data ranging from 1998 to 2010 (52 data points)
    • Data was retrieved from the Bank of Jamaica website (JSE index, and the gross domestic product GDP)

Read more of this post

The Telephone Interview Questionnaire

Be Prepared to Interview

Be prepared, Be very prepared. It is one thing to gather the courage to walk up to a perfect stranger, put on your best smile and ask them to fill out a questionnaire. It is a completely different thing to make a  phone call to a complete stranger and ask them to sit on the phone with you for God knows how long, while you ask them questions they don’t want to hear, and can’t be bothered with. Seems harsh but it’s true. The following are some of the main reasons you should be well prepared: Read more of this post

Questionnaire Design most important

Over the years doing data entry, data analysis and interpretation of results for students, lecturers and companies; We have come to concluded that questionnaire design is one of the most critical element of any survey type study (studies where questionnaires are used to collect data). The questionnaire can make or break your data analysis, so pay attention!

We have seen the good, the bad and the indifferent, as it relates to questionnaires. The good ones always include: Obvious headings, clear instructions as to what should be done to complete the questionnaire, concise questions, and most importantly, the questions asked, should adequately address the hypotheses being tested – the main issues or problems being examined. Read more of this post