You’re about to do some research. You’ve got an idea in your field and you hope to turn it into a grant or an article or a dissertation. Right now, you may not know exactly how you want to work with the idea. It’s just a thought.

How can a statistician help you?

At this early stage, the consultant may be able to suggest novel ways of testing your idea, using analytic methods you’ve never heard of. Then, the statistical consultant will be able to help you plan a sample size and a sampling strategy, write up a methods section and start gathering and recording data in a sensible way.

After you gather data, your statistical consultant will be able to help you analyze the data and understand it, using methods that are appropriate rather than just some method you learned in your two statistics courses.

For instance, if you have a dependent variable and one or more independent variables you may want some sort of regression. But is it

But maybe you don’t need regression at all; or maybe you need a multilevel model. Perhaps factor analysis or principal component analysis or cluster analysis or multidimensional scaling will be vital to answering your research question.

Your statistical consultant will be able to help you figure it out.