Practicing statistics requires knowing various statistical methods but this is not enough. In practice, statisticians have to be good listeners to understand what data related problems and projects are about; they have to be good organizers to ensure effective and efficient statistical support; the also have to be good communicators because understanding what data and model mean is not easy for most people; and last but not least, they have to be good colleagues with whom the other people involved in the projects enjoy working.

Ordinary statistics courses deal with mathematical and statistical methodology and the use of statistical software. This course deals with the other subjects. In ordinary statistical courses, methods are developed and then applied to suitable examples; in this course, fresh problems will be explored and these problems and their context will determine which methods could be used. These will be real-world problems with real clients and you will have to listen, explore, ask, listen again, analyze, model, explain, write, and present. The objective will be to create value for the client by gaining a deeper understanding about the processes and patterns which gave rise to the data or by finding ways to obtain data which can help with this.

Over the two terms of this course, you will learn about some basic consulting skills, work on a toy problem, and then you will go through two full projects, one from late October until mid December and the other from late February until April. Besides learning how to tacke these projects, you will also learn about professional topics such as planning, estimating the workload, data ethics, and how to earn a living by practicing statistics.

Welcome, Chris.