Reflecting on 2021 at Kai Analytics
Updated: Jan 7
2021 was a big year for Kai Analytics both in terms of the growth of our team and our business. We worked on a variety of projects around climate adaptation and conflict mitigation with the international development community, researched potential markets with our partners in consumer goods, and continued our work in the higher education sector by helping institutions quickly address the needs of their students and faculty-- especially as they returned to campus for the first time in over a year. Our web application, Unigrams, released its beta with a grand launch scheduled for next year. Oh! And we even managed to fit in a website redesign!
This wouldn't have been possible by myself alone.
So as 2021 draws to a close, I want to first thank my team for all their hustle, candor and creativity. It has been such a privilege to work with this awesome team of scientists, developers, business development gurus, designers and expert advisors.
To our partners from around the world, I want to say that I truly appreciate the partnership we have built throughout the years and including these past two extraordinary years. It has been, continues to be, and will always be a pleasure and privilege to collaborate with you all!
Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Danke schön. いつもありがとうございます。धन्यवाद्
Lastly, I want to thank my family. My spouse and daughters for love and support and brutal critiques of my dad jokes for keeping me grounded in reality.
Memorable Projects with a Lasting Impact
In 2021 we had the privilege of working with our global partners to create data solutions that we hope help make the world a better place. We crunched the numbers on everything from consumer products to climate change and used our data visualization skills to visually explain the risks faced by developing nations in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Southeastern Europe.
In January, we were able to revisit our study on the Philippine coffee growers’ willingness to adopt traceability technology. I was invited to be a member of the APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnerships Project Advisory Committee (PAC) organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. This led to a successful APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership Capstone Conference, where I was part of a panel with other esteemed researchers called Lessons from the Field: Research and Collaboration with MSMEs.
Continuing our work with the international development community, we joined forces with the Global Center on Adaptation, and Centre for Environment Education, CEE (ceeindia.org), to understand Young People and Drivers and Barriers to Climate Adaptation Action - Global Center on Adaptation (gca.org). We did this by distributing a survey into local youth networks to get a firsthand look at the struggles faced by youth in the parts of the world experiencing the most drastic effects of climate change.
Our data science and visual design team partnered with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to develop a dashboard that highlights the hazards, vulnerability, and coping mechanisms of national and subnational regions of Central Asia, South Caucus and Southeastern Europe.
In the world of consumer products, we used thematic extraction to help decipher the reviews left on the amazon pages of our partners and their competitors. This kind of extraction helps our partners to better understand the Voice of the Customer (VOC) and use that feedback to design better products that disrupt their respective spaces.
Our market research skills also proved useful to our partners as we analyzed the checkout behaviour of customers buying SaaS products. Our analysis helped show how new customers encounter the product, and what prompts initiate the purchase of add-ons or subscription bundles.
My Valued Team
Lockdowns that began in 2020 forced us to move our business to a more distributed model through remote work, which allowed us to recruit talent from across Canada and around the world. New faces joined our weekly check-ins, bringing their talents and ingenuity to our data analysis and business development projects.
This November, easing lockdown restrictions in BC allowed some of us to meet in person, some of us for the first time. We got to see who each other were behind the camera-some of us are taller than we thought-and get to know each other over some delicious West Coast tacos.
These in-person meetings gave us a chance to talk shop on current and upcoming projects, and to set ourselves important goals for next year. We’re looking forward to continuing to expand our data analysis capacity and software products and creating new ways to make qualitative data more accessible to our clients.
Unfortunately, COVID isn’t over yet, so we’ve all had to return to our home offices and zoom meetings for now. But, our strength continues to be in our people and the unique skillsets and ideas they bring to the table. Of all the things we learned about ourselves in 2021, one of the most important may be that we don’t need a physical office to be a team.
Unigrams - Qualitative Analytics Platform
2021 was a big year for the production of Unigrams, our qualitative analysis software. Thanks to the hard work of our NLP team and UX/UI designers we were able to release Unigrams beta as a functioning preview of what’s to come. Unigrams puts the custom code and analysis processes we use in our consulting into a simple and approachable software designed to make qualitative data more accessible to anyone who collects qualitative data.
Unigrams beta allows users to unlock the powerful features of qualitative analysis-like Topic Modelling and Network graphs- without the tedious process of manual data processing. This is possible without sacrificing confidence in the quality of results, thanks to statistical methods we’ve incorporated into the machine learning models built by the Python data science community.
With the ability to automatically categorize and analyze up to 300 rows of data on a free account, Unigrams Beta is perfect for testing on qualitative datasets and infrequent qualitative analysis projects, or as an intro to how qualitative analysis can improve your research.
Thank you for your continued support as we take on a new year. We’re excited to take on new and exciting data projects that provide a basis for informed decision-making and reveal trends and opportunities for our partners. Stay tuned for exciting and interesting content in the coming year.
On behalf of everyone at Kai Analytics. I want to wish you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season and have an amazing 2022!
Kai "Kevin" Chang
Founder and CEO
Kai Analytics and Survey Research Inc.