What should I expect in my appointment?
A collaborative environment. We need to learn a lot about your area of interest to be able to help you. Statistics is more than analysis at the end of data collection. Good statistical practice and methods start with a research question, hypothesis, and study design that lead to analysis. We start meetings trying to understand the content and background for your project. From there we can help define your research question and testable hypothesis. This often times takes a full hour to achieve. Once the goal of your project is clear we can help guide your project through the next steps to get to analysis.
How long can I expect the process to take?
Good thoughtful research takes time. During appointments we will need to walk through background information, hypothesis development, study design, data collection, data cleaning, analysis, and interpretation of the results. Because each project is different and has different resources, this timeline can vary quite a bit. For studies with a defined research question and hypothesis it could take 3-4 sessions to understand your project’s background, help you define the testable hypothesis, design your study, clean/manage the data, analyze the data, and visualize/interpret the results for publication.
What if my data is already collected?
Even with data in hand we still need to understand the background information, develop goals/hypothesis of the project, clean the data, analyze the data, and interpret the results for publication. When we get involved with projects at this phase, it can sometimes take longer than getting involved with a project from the start. This can be due to a lack of a testable hypothesis, missing data, data in the wrong format, ect. We always encourage researchers to contact us before data is collected as this allows us to do our best work, follow best practices, and ethical guidelines.
What if I have an upcoming deadline?
We do our best to help people on short timelines and sometimes we are successful with helping a researcher with an upcoming deadline. However, this can be difficult if there isn’t a well-defined goal of the project or the data isn’t clean or formatted. Additionally, we help on 100’s of projects a year across all departments at Lifespan and sometimes it is not possible to fit in all the steps for a responsible analysis on a short timeline. To avoid these situations, we encourage researchers to contact us well before a deadline.
What if I’m interested in Systematic and Literature reviews?
We don’t specialize in systematic or literature reviews in our core but there are many resources available if you want to pursue this type of research. The Brown library has resources as well as the Brown School of Public Health.