Ask Series: Ask the Statistician – Dr. N. Glenn Griesinger…

Nancy Griesinger


No one wants to end up ABD (all but dissertation) or ABT (all but thesis)!  Many graduate students do not realize that they can greatly benefit from hiring a statistical consultant to help with their thesis or dissertation.  Many graduate students do not know what statistical consultation is and they do not know what to expect from a statistician.  In a consultation, the statistician uses the best methods for obtaining, organizing, and analyzing information (data), then explains the outcomes in an understandable manner.


Statistical consultants are always playing in everyone’s backyard, so they speak your language.  The thesis/dissertation topic could be anything that requires statistical analysis or programming.  It is better to hire a statistical consultant instead of someone who has had a course or two because a statistician has technical expertise and experience in areas such as planning studies, measurement and sampling methods, data quality management, statistical software, and statistical analysis and interpretation.


A statistical consultant is a problem solver. The statistician’s specialized knowledge can supplement your own expertise to enhance the integrity and validity of your work or study.  Mobile Math statistical consultants all have Master’s and Ph. D. degrees.  They have been where you are!  They even help you navigate the politics of your committee.  You gotten this far, they can help you with your last hurdle – the proposal, thesis, or dissertation.


Court case, Statistical analysis, win case


A statistician is especially helpful when:


  1. You know what you would like to find out and want help to design a study that will answer your questions. You want help determining how large a study to perform or how many different groups to compare.


  1. A study involves methods and/or responses that may be different from those to which you are accustomed. Different types of data are analyzed in different ways, and a statistician can determine appropriate methods of analysis for each type.


  1. A planned study takes an unexpected twist. Rather than improvise and hope for the best, consult a statistician who can help to weigh the merits and drawbacks of different possible actions.


  1. The size of the study results in a volume of data that is more than you are prepared to handle yourself. A statistician can navigate through large data sets to arrive at specific answers to your questions.


  1. The analytic method appropriate for your data is complex or difficult to use successfully and requires more applied experience than you have.


  1. You have done similar projects but would like to get a new point of view and/or take advantage of the latest methods of design and analysis.


  1. You simply prefer to rely on a professional statistician for advice and support on all methodological aspects of your project.


A statistician can also help to interpret the results of an analysis that you have or

another person has performed and can evaluate whether a study design or an analysis is appropriate for addressing the problem at hand.

Reference: American Statistical Association. (2003). When you consult a statistician…What to expect. Retrieved from


To hire a corporate statistical consultant, click here!

To hire a thesis/dissertation statistical consultant, click here!

For  a career in statistical consulting apply here at Mobile Math today!

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