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

 

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

 

 

6 steps to executing a successful Focus Group

During my final year at university, I conducted my first focus group. What seemed like a daunting task, was a success due to adequate preparation. Today, I would like to share some best practices on how to effectively execute your first focus group.

Focus groups are a form of qualitative research that basically explores different subjects, perceptions, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, etc. through a guided conversation in an interactive group setting. The following highlights six steps on how to effectively execute a focus group:

1. Organize,and plan. Don’t do things at the last minute.

2. Recruit and screen the right people, with the right characteristics, and the right knowledge. Ensure that you contact your participants to ensure that the time and place for the focus group is confirmed.

3. Know your subject but be neutral and unbiased in your conversation. Don’t assume you understand what someone means; if it’s unclear at all, ask for clarification. EVERY STATEMENT IS IMPORTANT!

4. Encourage participation by all the attendees, don’t let one person dominate the conversation or someone sit in the background without a comment. Some people are more comfortable in settings like this than others; don’t let that one person run over everyone else in the conversation.

5. Keep things moving. Focus groups encourage a natural flow of topics; don’t move through the focus group topics abruptly, too slowly or quickly.

6. Check all equipment prior! Ensure that your recording devise is functional. It is impossible to write all the comments from the session verbatim without a recorder.

Contributor: Abi-Gaye White,

Legal and Corporate Communications Manager, Balcostics Ltd. 

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 both Jamaicans and foreigners to check it out – Balcostics recommended (click on photos to view as slideshow).