Statistical Advisory Service
Statistics and data analysis can play a significant role in as in all disciplines ranging from social sciences to engineering sciences. The Department of Mathematics is equipped with well qualified and experienced applied statisticians to provide expert statistical advisory including conducting surveys, questionnaire preparations, data analysis, statistical computing, and writing reports and advice on any statistical aspects.
The aims of the consultancy service are:
- to encourage managers to deal with the statistical data analysis
- to plan the experimental design, survey and sampling methodology, preparing the questioners etc to address the objectives most efficiently and avoid bias in the results
- to identify best practices for data management prior to the start of data collection
- to analysis data using appropriate statistical techniques that will address study objectives
- to interpret the results of data analysis and obtain the correct inferences
- to ensure best-practice of presentation of statistical results.
Type of advice given
- input to the design of your research study, in terms of resources, and how best to plan the study to address the objectives most efficiently and avoid bias in the results;
- advice on the experimental design and analysis, survey and sampling methodology design of your data collection instrument (questionnaire etc.);
- advice on how to approach the analysis of data collected in your research investigation;
- assistance with the meaningful interpretation of the statistical results of your analysis;
- guidance on how best to enter, store and manage your data on the computer;
- assistance in solving more complex statistical problems connected with your research.
Statistical consultancy requires mutual respect and co-operation on the parts of both the client and the statistics advisor. The advisor needs to develop an adequate understanding of the background to the statistical problem for which advice is sought. The client therefore needs to describe the study objectives and expected outcomes quite thoroughly to get the best advice from the statistics advisor.
Anyone wishing to use this service could contact to Dr. T S G Peiris in the Mathematics Department (sarathp[AT]uom.lk)
The following is a list of things that each can expect and provide.
What you should, and should not, expect from the statistics advisor
- You should expect the advisor to be considerate, attentive and constructive.
- You should expect advice from the statistician on how to design your study, manage your data or carry out a statistical analysis. It is not the advisor's role to do the work for you, or to take responsibility for monitoring your work. Hence letters confirming the suitability of your study approaches and analysis cannot be provided unless the statistician's involvement has been substantial.
What the statistics advisor expects from you
- Recognition that statistical inputs to a project at its planning stage can help to lead to better designed studies, as well as saving time and resources. This is as important as, if not more important than collaborating in data analysis.
- It is often difficult to predict how long an advisory session may take, so allow adequate time for the consultation. Putting the advice to use can also take time. Thus, if you have a deadline to meet and need prior statistical advice, we urge you to seek the advice well in advance.
- Please try to explain the whole problem to the statistician at the initial meeting, rather than presenting different components of your problem at different times. This will make for greater efficiency and understanding on the part of the advisor. It will also help to ensure you are given the correct advice first time round.
- Try to plan in advance a description of your statistical problem. It will be helpful if you can bring along clearly stated protocols, and any necessary diagrams or datasets.
- When the statistical input to a research paper being submitted for publication has been substantial, it is right to consider joint authorship with the statistics advisor. However, please do not make the statistician a co-author or acknowledge his/her inputs to your project without his/her agreement.
Anyone wishing to use this service could contact