…that it is important to make the best possible use of your resources and data. I am therefore always interested in the data that you already have available, rather than assuming that a new study to collect more data must be designed.
…in using the best possible statistical methods for the problem in hand. This means that:
- I keep abreast of modern and recent statistical developments so that I can turn them into practical tools when appropriate;
- I may use existing methods, apply existing methods to your application, or develop new methods to meet your specific needs;
- I will not use a complicated method if a simple method will do the job.
…in making outputs intelligible for the required audience. Regardless of the complexity of the methods used I aim to present and interpret results in as simple a fashion as possible to communicate the key ideas to the relevant audience.
…that the most effective collaborations are when I am involved right from the start of a project, including in the pre-proposal and proposal stage. Although I am happy to work with you at any stage of a project, I would encourage you to seek my involvement as early as possible to ensure that our resources are put to most effective use. Often the involvement of a statistician at the start of a project can lead to different insights into how the questions could best be approached and potentially savings in time and resources.
… that it is very important, where possible, to visit projects in action. This gives me a much better understanding of the issues in the field and ensures that the study design and data collection activities are appropriate for the actual conditions under which people are operating. For all sorts of reasons, including environmental impact, a few longer visits are more desirable than many short visits.
… in being clear about the limitations of whatever approach we have decided upon and in not making false promises. This includes being clear if your requirements are closer to research than consultancy, what this would mean for your project, what can be done given your resources and constraints and where we may need to seek funding and more time for a more complete development of the ideas.