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

 

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 and foster the discussion surrounding the problem. Generally most of your research questions come from these brainstorming sessions.

In my experience with Balcostics and helping people with their analysis, I’ve come across many persons who went and collect data that was not relevant in answering/ solving the problem they commissioned the research to solve. 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.

Organizing:

Organization is key! Most successful researchers have good project management skills, whether they were formally trained or not. Tasks listings, resource allocation, budget and timelines are necessary evils in the planning process.

Research is a methodology, Not percentages!

Research is a systematic way of collecting, analyzing and presenting data. The methodology used in the design, collection and analysis of the data is imperative. The methodology should be given high priority, to ensure the sample is representative and margin of errors are adequate.

Please comment and share your opinion on any of the simple points presented.

Visionary Entrepreneur

About the author:

Luwayne Thomas Bsc., Msc.

Co-founder & COO @balcostics

Follow on twitter: @LuwayneThomas

 

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

Drugs Free Olympics

This article seeks to examine the measures that have been put in place to identify and disqualify drug users at the Olympics in London 2012.  Hugh Robertson – the UK Minister of Sports and Olympics – stated that “We cannot absolutely guarantee that these will be drug-free games, but we can guarantee that we have got the very best system possible to try and catch anybody who even thinks of cheating.” 

Over the last decade, statistics have shown that the number of doping cases reported has consistently decreased at each consecutive Summer Olympics. According to the International Olympics Committee’s January 2010 report, the number of athletes tested in Athens, Greece was 3,667 compared to 4,770 done in Beijing China.

The number of reported doping cases decreased from 26 in 2004 to 20 in 2008. These numbers indicate that measures are being put in place to improve vigilance and reduce the number of doping cases at the Olympics.

Measures being taken to ensure a drug free Olympics:

1. The International Olympic Committee advised that they can appoint the World Anti-Doping Agency and any other Anti-Doping Organization to carry out Doping Controls, on behalf of the IOC, during the Period of the London Olympics, outside of the United Kingdom and at non-Olympic venues inside of the United Kingdom. In addition to this, all athletes shall be subject, during the Period of the Olympic Games to Doping Controls initiated by the IOC at any time or place with no advance notice required to be given to the athletes. These rules stated by the International Olympic Committee will aid anti-doping efforts as tests can be run extensively to prevent cheating. Read more of this post

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

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