statrefs home‎ > ‎Main‎ > ‎Fundamentals‎ > ‎

Planning the Study

First and foremost, bring the statistician in to the study during the planning stage.
  • Don't wait until you've collected the data to ask the statistician for help. (quote3, quote5)
  • The statistician should be involved in planning the study and providing guidance for its execution.

Planning and execution of the study includes:
  • setting up the treatments,
  • randomization prior to the study,
  • randomization during the study,
  • facilitation and oversight, and
  • data analysis and interpretation.


Before the study starts, ask us if we can support the study.  This includes having someone with the right skill set and experience.  It also includes having a resource that can meet the requirements of the project schedule.

When creating the schedule for the study, check first to see if an appropriate resource is available that can support the desired time line.

Don't wait to talk to us until the thing that you want us to help with is on the project's critical path.


Data ambush: 
  • Giving us a set of data from a study that we were unaware of and where we were not involved in the planning.

Data snooping.
  • Trying various statistical methods on the data to see if one will be more inclined to give a favorable outcome.
  • In practice:  The statistical method should be determined during the planning of the study, not when the data has already been collected.