What Does a Statistician Do

This is what people think I do.

About statswithcats

Charlie Kufs has been crunching numbers for over thirty years. He retired in 2019 and is currently working on Stats with Kittens, the prequel to Stats with Cats.
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9 Responses to What Does a Statistician Do

  1. I love you mom 🙂
    and what does your cat think ?

  2. Pingback: What does a statistician do? | Math Meme | Math Pics | Math Fail

  3. chloe says:

    This is awesome! I absolutely love it. I am a statistician and I feel the same 🙂

    At least your boss think that you can come up with magic numbers!

  4. This is what the Federal government thinks statisticians do.

  5. Etheline V. Cimatu says:

    i want to be statistician. But I don’t want to have to go to school for it. Now, let’s put the plaque and certificate paper aside, how can I train myself to be able to do what a statistician does.

    I am a civil engineering graduate, and have passion to learn anything that can solve people’s problem. I have taken enough stat classes that I have gloriously passed and failed, but never my spirits deterred. I find the enigma of rustling through patterns within data very curious and eerily satisfying.

    I guess where do I start. I have done beginning, engineering and scientist stat, risk(bayesian) to multiple linear regression. I am drawn to finding the purpose of everything, and I feel the numbers will tell me.

    If you could help that would be great.

    • Every person must follow her or his own path. Yours is just different from others. If you have learned how to teach yourself new things, you can become a statistician too.

      Consider this: no statistician learns every form and application of statistics. Some statistics aren’t generally taught because they are used mostly in specialty fields, like geostatistics in mining, orientation statistics in biology, ARIMA in econometrics, and sabermetrics in sports. New techniques are developed all the time, for example, data mining. So don’t be intimidated if something comes along that you haven’t heard of. There are books, web sites, and videos you can learn from. You can go to conferences and meet other practitioners. School packs all these things together in a set format but you can do it yourself if you have the dedication.

      Here are two ways to start. The first and best, in my opinion, is to find some data and practice. Your practice doesn’t have to involve a technique you’ve never tried before, it could be simple regression or even just descriptive statistics. There are many web sites, especially government web sites, that publish data. Find data that interests you and start analyzing. Develop your own research questions, use a variety of techniques, graph everything, and maybe, at the end, write a blog about your analysis. A second method would be to select a statistical technique that interests you, and read about it from a variety of sources. You don’t have to buy hundreds of dollars of books; use the web, at least to stat. You’ll find that, for any given statistical technique, there are different perspectives on how it should be explained.

      The key to learning is to just start and never stop. Good luck.


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