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Statistical Support: Design & Data Core

Statisticians: Good Folks to Have on Your Team

View an Introduction to SON Research Office Stat Team Services (PDF)
Drowning in Data? - SPSS Data Analysis and Output Interpretation (PowerPoint)
Does It Matter? - Understanding and Qualifying Effect Size (PDF)
"Your Statistician Is Your Friend" - Research Brown Bag Series (PDF)
"Needed for Power Analysis: Guidelines on Sample Size" (DOC)
"Tips for Researchers" (PDF)

The Design and Data Core, part of the SON Research Office, is a team of sophisticated statisticians who are eager to work with you as you design, implement, analyze and report your research.

At the same time as they pursue their own academic and scholarly careers, each has set aside time to provide consultation and support to investigators at the SON. The table below outlines the services available and how to access them.

As you plan your study, identify your team, and write your budget, it is not uncommon to underestimate the amount of statistician time that will be needed. An early discussion with the Stat Team can help you anticipate the real needs of the study and plan accordingly.

Every study is different, but as a rule of thumb, 10% effort (4 hours a week on average) is a minimum for a relatively small study. To help you think about your needs for statistical collaboration, below is a description of the types of services this minimum can provide:

  • What a small (10%) statistical support allocation in proposal budget can get you....
  • An ongoing relationship with the Stat Team which will help them better understand your data and general research strategies in order to facilitate their work with you on other issues/projects.
  • Participation/expertise (of appropriate level statistician) in developing data acquisition and management procedures (including coding schemes, data flow, format, validity checking)
  • Preparing programming code for scoring
  • Some small amount of participation in on-going data management - this might include supervision of a project-supported data management assistant (either project or Research Office staff), merging data files from different instruments/sources/time points, "data cut" (i.e. bringing in data from acquisition sources to get ready for analysis) and validity checking for interim analysis for a paper/poster, answering occasional questions about data management issues.
  • Development and conceptual oversight of data analysis plan
  • Supervise project-supported statistician (either project personnel or Research Office statistician) who will do most analyses
  • Assist in interpreting analysis results
  • Contribute to/review manuscripts/posters of study results
  • Answer occasional questions about stat analysis, relevant software
  • Some small amount of participation in actual data analysis
  • Assistance with power analysis on additional proposals that may be related to the project or use its results

Remember 10% time is 4 hours per week on average (total across any/all these activities listed above)-that includes meetings, planning, development, answering [even peripherally-related] questions (phone, email, or in-person), hands-on data mgt., documentation, exploration of models and analysis approaches, running analyses a second time because PI decides that another covariate needs to be added or that one subject needs to be deleted, etc.. It is not usually enough time to cover all on-going data management or for final analyses at end of project (except for small projects)-but it may cover on-going involvement with the data management process if project staff are doing most data acquisition and validity checking, and it may cover some minimal interim analyses for presentations/posters.

Please view our Introduction to SON Research Office Stat Team Services for more information.

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