Workshop Enrollment: Analyzing Count Data: Poisson, Negative Binomial, and Other Essential Models

A 6-Module Online, Interactive Workshop

Starts on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dealing with Discrete Count Variables

​​​​​​​Once you learn the ins and outs of linear models, it can seem that you’re ready to tackle any dependent variable.


Not all numerical dependent variables are created equal! Some are discrete, not continuous:

  • Number of surviving offspring
  • Number of crimes committed in an area
  • Number of days in the hospital

If you apply linear regression, which is designed for continuous dependent variables, to discrete dependent variables, you’re going to run into some BIG issues…

It will seem like you’ve performed the right analysis, but your results will be inconsistent and biased. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

I’m Jeff Meyer, workshop instructor.

My goal is that by the end of the workshop, you’ll know how to spot when you need a count model and how to choose the most appropriate one, implement it, and understand the results. You’ll learn six different types of count models (plus all their varieties) and how to select the one that will work best for your specific data set.

Jeff MeyerJeff Meyer MBA, MPA

In this six-module live, online workshop, we’ll cover:

  • What counts are and why they don’t work well in linear models
  • When a model is appropriate and how to evaluate a model
  • Working with Offset/Exposure Variables
  • Understanding Incidence Rate Ratios and the log link function
  • Steps to Running a Poisson Model
  • Interpreting Coefficients, Marginal Effects, and Interactions
  • Overdispersion & Negative Binomial Models
  • Model Fit, Assumptions, and Influence
  • Zero Truncated, Hurdle, Zero Inflated Poisson and Negative Binomial Models

Who Is This Workshop For?

This workshop is suitable for graduate students and research professionals in fields that use statistics.

This workshop is for you if you:

  • Have tried to do a Poisson or negative binomial regression before, but found it confusing or difficult
  • Are comfortable running and interpreting linear regression or ANOVA and want to take your statistical skills to the next step
  • Know you will need to implement a count model soon

It is NOT for you if you:

  • Are a statistics beginner and have never done a linear regression
  • Have an advanced degree in statistics and want theoretical knowledge of count models

“Mr. Meyer works very hard to pass along as much information as he can.”

— Collin Stewart, previous workshop participant —

How Does It Work?

This course is a 6-module live, interactive online workshop.

All lessons are conducted online via live webinar. You’ll see the instructor’s screen to view the presentation…all from your own home or office.

During each webinar session, the instructor will cover core concepts and steps and will leave plenty of time to ask your own questions.

Have more questions? No problem!

In addition to the four lessons, you’ll also meet with your instructor for six additional Q&A sessions where you can get additional assistance on workshop concepts, deepen your knowledge, and clarify any questions.

All 6 Workshop Sessions and 6 Q&A Sessions Are Recorded for Your Convenience.

Where Do I Access Recordings and Material?

For each of the four modules, you will have a set of training resources and material.

As a participant of the Analyzing Count Data workshop, you can access these for 12 months in our participant-only website.

Data Sets
Real research data sets in SPSS, SAS, Stata, and csv formats.

Exercises + Solutions
Try out what you’ve learned in each module to cement the material. Never get stuck with provided syntax and interpretations.

Syntax and Demo Videos
Step-by-step videos for SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R. Available to download so you can save and edit them for your own analysis.

Forum Access
Ask your instructor about workshop content or how to apply it to your own data analysis.

Session slides and supplementary material to support your learning.

Q&A Recordings
Can’t make a live Q&A? Submit questions ahead of time and get answers from the recording.

Session Recordings
Made available within 48 hours so you can review material at your preferred schedule.

Suggested Resources
External videos, articles, or exercises that we recommend to support your learning.

You’ll have access to this site and all the related materials and resources for ONE FULL YEAR. That means you can re-watch sessions and ask additional questions again during that 12-month period.

Often, our students report they understand the material at a deeper level on a second or third pass. You’ll learn more every time, so take advantage of it!

“Having Jeff able to respond to queries on the spot – via the question box – was a fantastic resource. For off-topic questions, which he obviously didn’t have time to address within the lecture, he then separately uploaded ‘answers’ onto the course website. That real-time interaction and feedback was truly invaluable. It honestly felt like we were in a physical classroom, which is the biggest compliment I can give.”

— Ryan J. Kee, Queen’s University Belfast, previous workshop participant —

What’s Covered in the Workshop?

Module 1: Understanding Count Models

We’ll start with an understanding of what counts are and why they don’t work well in linear models. We’ll talk in detail about why a count model is necessary and what a log link means.

Then we’ll go through a brief overview of the most important concepts and steps so you have a big-picture understanding. This lays a strong foundation for the rest of the workshop.

We specifically will cover:

  • Discrete vs Continuous Variables
  • The Variety of Count Data
  • Why OLS Linear Regression Doesn’t Work with Count Data
  • Modeling Assumptions for Count Data
  • The Modeling Process
  • Offset/Exposure Variables
  • Incidence Rate Ratios

Module 2: The Poisson Model

Now that you’ve had an overview, we’ll dig deep into the simplest count model: the Poisson. We’ll explore the issues, terminology, and modeling that apply to all count models within the context of this simplest of models.

  • Important Terminology
  • Poisson Model Assumptions
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Analyzing Data and Model Fit
  • Interpreting the Results
  • Marginal Effects
  • Interactions

Module 3: The Negative Binomial Model

Now that you understand the Poisson model, we expand on it. Unfortunately, the Poisson model often doesn’t fit real data. In this module we introduce the powerhouse of count models: the negative binomial./p>

  • Overdispersion
  • Negative Binomial Distribution
  • Important Terminology
  • When to use Negative Binomial Models
  • Running Models
  • Model Fit
  • Negative Binomial Model Assumptions

Module 4: Model Diagnostics and Truncated Models

Now that we’ve run a model, we need to make sure that it fits the data. In this module you learn how to do that in Poisson and negative binomial models and learn a new type of count model that will account for a common failure of model fit–a complete lack of zeros in the data.

  • Predicted Values and Residuals: comparison of models
  • Influential Observations: Cook’s distance
  • Residuals versus Predicted Values
  • Residuals versus Predictors
  • Zero Truncated Models

Module 5: Hurdle and Zero-inflated Models

Lots and lots of zeros in the data? In this module we’ll explore in detail two ways of approaching and dealing with this common situation (think of variables like number of arrests or accidents–most people don’t have any).

  • Hurdle Model
  • Zero Inflated Poisson Model
  • Zero Inflated Negative Binomial Model

Module 6: Extension and Review

Now that you understand, in detail, when and how to implement a variety of count models, we’ll do two things.

First, we’ll introduce some lesser-known, but valuable alternative models that are sometimes exactly what you need.Then we’ll take a data set and go through a model-building example, so you can see, start-to-finish, an example of the order in which to do steps, the information to consider, and which output to interpret.

Dates and Times

There are six workshop modules, each with a lesson and a Q&A session (plus supporting materials).

We will meet on Tuesdays at 3pm, US Eastern. The workshop sessions are approximately 2 hours long, including time for questions.

Workshop Orientation (Optional):

Monday, July 15 from 2pm – 3pm (GMT-5)

Live Workshop Dates: Tuesdays from 2pm – 4pm (GMT-5)

Module 1 – July 16

Module 2 – July 18

Module 3 – July 23

Module 4 – July 25

Module 5 – July 30

Module 6 – August 1

Q&A Session Dates: Mondays from 2pm – 3pm (GMT-5)

Module 1 – July 17

Module 2 – July 24

Module 3 – July 31

Module 4 – August 14

Remember, everything is recorded and available for you to watch at your convenience, should you be unable to attend a live session.

Also, you have access to all the class materials for a full 12 months from your enrollment date.

Sorry, enrollment for this workshop is not currently open.

Please contact us if you have any questions
or get on the waiting list to be notified when it's open again.

About Your Instructor

Hi, I’m Jeff Meyer, your workshop instructor and professional statistical consultant.

I have taught this workshop in the past and have watched students grow in confidence and master count models.

My interests are wide-ranging. I work with linear, binomial, count, and mixed models. In addition my work can entail running exploratory and confirmatory models, Structural Equation Models (SEM), latent class analysis, and multiple imputation models for missing data. ​​​​​​​

I understand that to be an effective instructor, it takes more than subject matter knowledge and a logical approach to analyzing data. I truly enjoy working with people, and I care about your success!

Jeff MeyerJeff Meyer MBA, MPA

“Jeff is an excellent instructor. He explained when and how to use the commands in such a clear and understandable manner.”

— Previous workshop participant —


So what kind of background in statistics do you need?

This is an advanced-level course. You should have solid experience in running linear models–ANOVA or linear regression.

We’re assuming you understand:

  • Interpreting regression coefficients
  • Least-squares estimation
  • P-values
  • Dummy coding
  • Interactions

Familiarity with logistic regression will be helpful, but it’s not necessary.

If you have questions about whether you’re ready, just email us. We’ll give you our honest opinion. We want you to succeed!

Your Satisfaction Is Guaranteed

As with all of our programs, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Your registration fee is fully refundable for any reason up to the close of enrollment, no questions asked. Once the refund period ends and the workshop begins, we want you to be satisfied. If you participate fully in a workshop – watch, read, and try out what is included – and find you are not satisfied, we will give you a full refund. Just notify us within 90 days of purchasing the program.


Q: I haven’t taken a statistics course in years. Will I be able to keep up?

A: As long as you have the suggested prerequisites (a strong understanding of linear regression), you should be fine.

However, you WILL need to spend some time each week, both going over the material and also “getting your hands dirty” with some data. Expect to spend 4-5 hours per week reviewing the material and doing the exercises, and re-running class examples on your own.

And if you have questions during the workshop, make sure to attend the Q&A sessions and/or post on the Workshop Center to clarify anything you’re not clear on.

You know how this goes: The more time you put in, the deeper your understanding.

Q: What’s your refund policy?

A: Your registration fee is fully refundable up to 72 hours before your first class session. No refunds will be granted after the program begins.

Q: Do you offer student discounts?

A: Yes, we do! Current students with a valid ID can register for up to 20% off the standard rate. Click here to receive our student discount on all our workshops: Student Discount List

Q: Things are very busy at work right now, and I’m afraid I won’t have time to keep up. How much time per week does this really take?

A: We’ve worked hard to make sure people can take a workshop in the midst of their normal work life. For longer workshops, we build in a week off halfway through the course.

Each workshop webinar session is about 2 hours, whether you attend live or listen to the recording.

Each week, we have a one-hour Q&A session. You don’t have to attend, we just make those available so you can have any questions answered or listen in on others’ questions.

We provide exercises, answers and data sets, so you can practice what you’ve learned each week and get help in the Q&As. These will take you a few hours each week, maybe up to 3 or so. The exercises aren’t required—you’re not graded. But we’ve gotten feedback that they’re very helpful, as it allows you to practice and figure out what you did and didn’t understand.

In other words, each week, there are approximately 2 hours of instruction, one hour of Q&A, and about 2-3 hours of practice time. So if you have a crazy hectic week during the workshop, you have catch up time. But If you have a crazy hectic month, you may be better off waiting as you won’t really have a chance to catch up.

One reminder: You have access to the workshop website, all materials, and a place to ask questions for a year. So if you get behind, you aren’t missing out. You can catch up on your schedule.

Q: I teach/work/sleep during this time and cannot attend live. Is there any way to register and access the webinar sessions later?

A: Yes! We have participants from many time zones with many different work schedules. In order to support our diverse student base, all material – including the workshop sessions and Q&As — are recorded and made available to students within 48 hours. They’re screenshot video files, so you’ll hear the instructor talking and see his screen, just as live participants do. You can even submit questions for written answers any time between sessions. Many students take the entire workshop in this manner, never attending a session live.

You can also download and keep these videos forever, so if you need to refresh your memory at any point in the future, it’s yours to review.

Q: I’m outside the U.S. Can I still participate?

A: Yes. We have participants in our workshops from many different countries. You will want a fast internet connection and either a computer speaker or a telephone if you plan to attend live.

Q: Can I pay with Paypal?

A: Yes. When you check out, you can pay directly using our system or paying with Paypal. However, the three-payment option is not available using PayPal.

Q: Can I join the Q&A webinars from my tablet or phone?

A: Yes. You can join all webinar sessions from your Apple or Android device by downloading a free GoToMeeting app.

Q: This really isn’t a good time for me. Will you be offering this workshop again soon?

A: We don’t have a set schedule for running each workshop. We try to schedule each workshop every 12-18 months, though very popular workshops may be offered more often. We are sometimes unable to re-run a workshop if the instructor becomes unavailable so there are no guarantees that any workshop will be run again.

If you think you’ll need the material in the next half-year or so, I would suggest registering now. You’ll get all the materials to download and review at your convenience, and you can attend again for free any time in the next 12 months.

Have additional questions? We’re here to help! Just email us at