Why Jamaican boys underperform in school, compared to girls?

Note: You can watch our discussion with the researcher (Shari-Lee Carter) in the YouTube video (directly below) or you can scroll down to read the researcher's summary [including methodology & main findings]. https://youtu.be/Btha21KVcfE Read research summary below: The achievement rates of Jamaican boys have over the years been debated in several academic circles. With growing…

Trademark Surveys: Combining Research and Law

Trademark confusion surveys bring together both of my passions – research & law. In the world of Intellectual Property, many companies are now ensuring that their trademarks are not confused with competitors. https://youtu.be/SJrgbQE4xyU In recent years, the courts in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have seen a drastic increase in the number…

Fish Sanctuaries: Ensuring Jamaica’s Future Fish Supply

Recently we concluded a survey among fisherfolks across seven (7) fish sanctuaries in Jamaica

Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime

When she became the attorney general of New Jersey in 2007, Anne Milgram quickly discovered a few startling facts: not only did her team not really know who they were putting in jail, but they had no way of understanding if their decisions were actually making the public safer. And so began her ongoing, inspirational…

“Thou shalt not be black”: Christianity & the distribution of power

Within the Caribbean, and more specifically the Jamaican context, the failure to acknowledge religion as a significant factor in the distribution of power, opportunities and status still exists. And although such failure is evident among all sections of the Jamaican society, the group that has lost and continues to lose the most is the lower…

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.…

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…

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.

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…

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…

Working and Enjoying Jamaica: Field Work

Working, researching and enjoying Jamaica - this has been our story in recent weeks. In our most recent exploration, we visited Dunn's River Falls, completing our work, while basking in the ambiance of Jamaica's natural environment. Thanks to the Management and Staff of Dunn's River for accommodating our Balcostics team. See highlights from our visit…

ProjectRita Training Seminar

Project Rita is the code name of our new and exciting project. We will be researching to aid Jamaica's environmental and cultural resources. We've been contracted by one of America's top 5 environmental charities, but this is as much as we can say. Stay tune to learn more and follow us on this exciting research…

Yes, there are opportunities in a depreciated Jamaican Dollar!

Public discussion surrounding the depreciating dollar have been one sided, looking only at the negatives associated with the decline. With the exception of Dr. Damian King (Senior Economist, UWI), I'm yet to see a different perspective on the implications. Dr King views in summary: Some Jamaicans (companies, individuals etc.) will lose from the depreciation in the…

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WwQ5f5h_owY

Another look at Questionnaire Design

"It is not every question that deserves an answer." - Pubius Syrus Questionnaire design is  imperative to the success of a research project. When all is said and done, the results of your research reflect the questions that were asked. This slide will highlight the following: What questions should be asked Best approaches in phrasing a…

Planning your research: The simple yet effective whiteboard

Before embarking on a new research project, the following are considered extremely important to the successful execution of same: Brainstorming: Planning should begin with the brainstorming phase, where the problems/ questions that need answering is verbally aired, reviewed and discussed. A white board is an excellent tool that can be used to capture the information…

Jamaica’s Population Census 2011: Infographics

Jamaica’s population grew from 2,607,632 (2.608 million) persons in 2001 to 2, 697, 983 (2.698 million) in 2011. This represents a 3.5% increase in the total population size over the period (2001 – 2011). The following shows a breakdown of 2011 population by parish: See full copy of ‘Population and Housing Census 2011: General report’ by clicking here: view…

The Jamaica & IMF Equation

The Equation: The following outline what I believe to be the most likely economic outcome if an agreement is not reached (soon), between Jamaica and the International Monetary Fund (IMF): Further exchange rate depreciation If the Government of Jamaica is unable to secure a deal - in short order - continued domestic concerns, weakening markets…