Stat Studio: Frequently Asked Questions
As early as possible!
Methodological thinking can contribute greatly to the success of research proposals in most areas. At many granting agencies, the quality of methodological planning can tip the balance in favor of funding. We can help you with proposal preparation by advising you on the methodological aspects of your proposed research. This includes experimental design, sample-survey planning, and subsequent analyses. If a substantial role for statistics is proposed, we will gladly join in your proposal to the extent that our resources permit.
Multiple sessions are quite common. Repeat sessions may continue over weeks, months, or even years. If the assigned team cannot answer all of your questions, they will (a) tell you so, (b) schedule a follow-up appointment, or (c) find the information you need, either by delving into the relevant methodological literature, or by consulting with a colleague who has the expertise required.
If you seek our advice on experimental design or planning a survey before gathering your data — and we recommend that you do — bring a clear idea of the purpose of your research: the hypotheses you'd like to test and the research questions you'd like to answer. Copies of articles or earlier work on similar topics in your discipline would also be helpful. If you are seeking our advice on data analysis or report writing after the fact, then also bring a copy of the data gathering protocol, a spreadsheet copy of the data itself, and the results of any analyses already performed.
The general answer is yes, but there are qualifications. The significant word here is "statistical." Stat Studio will provide assistance with the use of statistical computer software, but we do not provide assistance with more general computer software, such as operating systems, file management programs, or word processing programs.
We have found that cleaning and preparing data for analysis requires far longer than actually running some of the analyses. Therefore, it is helpful (and cost-effective) to have thoroughly investigated your data, checked for impossible values, and have it organized in a spreadsheet prior to your initial meeting. One bit of advice, leave missing data blank or use an impossible value to code these data (e.g., -999), never use a 0! Quantify as much of your data as possible (i.e. code open ended responses into a few categories consistent with your research purpose, and never have more than one value in a single spreadsheet cell). We also request that NO names or social security numbers be included in any data handled by Stat Studio. If such information must be included, however, we will use special encryption procedures for its protection. Your data will be stored in a secured computer environment protected by user authorization and passwords. Data of all formats are welcome (e.g., emailed, zip, USB drives, CD, or DVD.
We have many software programs available for data manipulation and analysis. We also possess programs for converting data from one statistical software format to another. We possess licenses for SPSS, SAS, Mplus, HLM, and LISREL and also have many open source software programs available (e.g., G*Power, R,).
No. We are not a methodological or statistical “tutoring” center. Please see your instructor or your teaching assistants for help.
Yes. We provide the same level of support as we do graduate students.