Choosing statistical software is part of The Fundamentals of Statistical Skill and is necessary to learning a second software (something we recommend to anyone progressing from Stage 2 to Stage 3 and beyond).
At The Analysis Factor, we are on a mission to help researchers improve their statistical skills so they can do amazing research.
We all tend to think of “Statistical Analysis” as one big skill, but it’s not.
Over the years of training, coaching, and mentoring data analysts at all stages, I’ve realized there are four fundamental stages of statistical skill:
There is also a stage beyond these where the mathematical statisticians dwell. But that stage is required for such a tiny fraction of data analysis projects, we’re going to ignore that one for now.
If you try to master the skill of “statistical analysis” as a whole, it’s going to be overwhelming.
And honestly, you’ll never finish. It’s too big of a field.
But if you can work through these stages, you’ll find you can learn and do just about any statistical analysis you need to. [Read more…] about The Four Stages of Mastering Statistical Analysis
Like any applied skill, mastering statistical analysis requires:
1. building a body of knowledge
2. adeptness of the tools of the trade (aka software package)
3. practice applying the knowledge and using the tools in a realistic, meaningful context.
If you think of other high-level skills you’ve mastered in your life–teaching, survey design, programming, sailing, landscaping, anything–you’ll realize the same three requirements apply.
These three requirements need to be developed over time–over many years to attain mastery. And they need to be developed together. Having more background knowledge improves understanding of how the tools work, and helps the practice go better. Likewise, practice in a real context (not perfect textbook examples) makes the knowledge make more sense, and improves skills with the tools.
I don’t know if this is true of other applied skills, but from what I’ve seen over many years of working with researchers as they master statistical analysis, the journey seems to have 3 stages. Within each stage, developing all 3 requirements–knowledge, tools, and experience–to a level of mastery sets you up well for the next stage. [Read more…] about The 3 Stages of Mastering Statistical Analysis