Why we make bad decisions [Video]

Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwQ5f5h_owY

More women now die of heart disease than men [Research]

There are approximately 800,000 Jamaican women (20 - 64 years old) currently at risk of heart disease. Women under the age of 65, especially those with a family history of heart disease, should pay close attention to heart disease risk factors. Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused…

Your phone company is watching

With the recent trial and conviction of popular dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel, most Jamaicans were surprised to learn that both network providers (Digicel Jamaica & Lime Jamaica) store records of phone-calls, text messages among other personal information for several years. According to the Interception of Communication Act, if the police has reasonable grounds that your device…

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…

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…

Understanding Dependent & Independent Variables #Animation

In doing research and data analysis, many have struggled with differentiating between the dependent and independent variables when running statistical tests and/or experiments. A clear understanding of these two concepts will play a major role in an individual's thinking as a researcher/ experimenter. This animation seeks to address this common challenge of differentiating between the independent & dependent variables…

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…

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

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…

Conducting Online Surveys: Pros & Cons

With the explosion of internet usage globally, it was inevitable that surveys would eventually utilize the online medium to capture required data. The advent of Facebook and Twitter, has further resulted in a paradigm shift - it is now easier to find people on Facebook/ twitter than at a park (base on our informal observations).…

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…

The Transfer of Governance Technology: Colbeck Water Users’ Association (WUA)

The problem/ Purpose   To determine whether social capital as it relates to trust influences the successful transfer of participatory and transparent governance technologies in the Colbeck Water Users Association in Old Harbour, Jamaica.  To determine whether greater success in the transfer of governance technology is related to stronger surrounding economy, and greater access to outside…

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…

Questions for the Questionnaire

The following represents questions one should ask when creating a questionnaire. What does the question contribute? Each question included in the questionnaire, should contribute significantly to acquiring relevant information for the researcher. The questionnaire should be assessed prior, so as to ensure that all the questions present are relevant and if not, irrelevant questions removed.…