FAQ


Q: Why should I hire statisticians as consultants?


 A: We are entering a “Big Data” era (Brown, Chui & Manyika, 2011).  The implications of big data are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. How data is being generated, analyzed and eventually used to guide decision-making will fundamentally change the way  modern enterprises operate.  However, complex data require sophisticated skills for proper analysis; otherwise it becomes useless (Harris, 2012). That is why statisticians play such a critical role in today’s society.

Statistical consultants apply technical and academic expertise and experience to provide statistical advice and guidance to clients interested in making evidence-based decisions through the collection or analysis of data. In brief, effective data analysis guarantees the clients a maximized return on their project investment.

The role of the statistical consultant may vary from case to case, and can include any or all of the following:

  • Designing experiments and research studies

A statistician helps to determine: How large a sample would be required for the  study to detect its effect of interest?  Who should the study include and what  should be the appropriate sampling strategies?

  • Supervising data collection

A statistician helps to determine:  What is the most cost-effective way to ensure elements of the targeted population in the study are being sampled correctly? How should  randomization be carried out ?

  • Advising on data management

A statistician can give advice on how to code data properly which would save tons of time and labour at the later stage of data analysis. Ensuring that the study variables of interest are all captured and coded in the correct fashion is crucial for the success of any study.

  •  Ensuring and enhancing the integrity and validity  of your study

A statistician can apply psychometric theory to examine the construct validity and reliability of your survey instrument

  •  Performing appropriate statistical analysis to answer your research questions or address your research hypotheses
  •  Plotting data

A statistician can design appropriate visual graphs to illustrate   data trends and  statistical results

  •  Writing up statistical methods  and sample size

A statistician can perform calculations for grant proposals and applications, and statistical results for manuscripts, professional conferences, or other presentations.

  •  Providing constructive support when  unexpected twists happen

Let’s face it: We encounter unexpected surprises in life, not even to mention in research. A statistician can help to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various possible plans when the study takes an unexpected twist.

If this is your first time  consulting a statistician/research professional, we recommend you  read the article  When you consult a statistician…What to expect published by American Statistical Association (2003), which provides a great definition of the working relationship between a statistician and a client.

References

American Statistical Association. (2003). When you consult a statistician…What to expect. Retrieved from http://www.amstat.org/sections/cnsl/brochures/SCSbrochure.pdf

Brown, B., Chui, M., & Manyika, M. (2011 October). Are you ready for the ear of ‘big data’? McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Are_you_ready_for_the_era_of_big_data_2864

Harris, J. (2012, September 13). Data is useless without the skills to analyze it. HBR Blog Network. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/09/data_is_useless_without_the_skills.html

Q: Who are your typical clients?

A: Having been established in the industry for over 15 years, we are proud that our client list includes government agencies, hospitals, research institutes, retail corporations, law firms as well as individual researchers or students who are beginning their first ever statistical project.

Selected examples of KISS consulting projects are listed below:

Healthcare research

  • A study examining the effectiveness of a new drug compared to the usual standard
  • A study looking at the predictive ability of an indicator of patient health status in classifying those at high risk of mortality in hospitals

Market research

  • A study looking at factors related to real estate sales in different cities
  • A study predicting the product sales in grocery stores based on various factors

Institutional research

  • A study examining the effectiveness of new admission process at a higher education institute
  • Designing and analyzing a decliner survey to understand the factors affecting students’ choice
  • A  longitudinal study to understand first-year students’ engagement and to improve their experience

Academic research

  • A study examining foreign-born scientists’ productivity comparing to their native-born counterparts in research universities in a nation
  • A study examining professors’ job satisfaction in public higher education sector in a nation and assessing how demographic variables may affect job satisfaction
  • A comparative study of perceptions of gender and leadership in universities of two countries
  • A study examining university students’ civic attitudes and civic engagement

For potential corporate clients, we are happy to provide a list of previous clients upon request.

Q: What are the responsibilities for me as a client?

A:  If you are at the stage prior to data collection, we expect you to have clearly-defined research question(s) to guide research design and statistical analysis. In this case, you could provide the following documents:

  • Background information about the study/problem
  • A research proposal, if one exists
  • A grant proposal, if one exists
  • An ethics protocol, if one exists

If you are at the stage after data collection, you could provide

  • A ready-to-use dataset and its coding scheme
  • If you use multiple datasets please explain the links among them
  • Survey instrument, if one exists
  • Prior studies, pilot data, tests, published and in-house reports relating to the study/problem

If you would like to pursue consulting services with us and have some prepared documents to share with us, simple email them to info@akissconsulting.com or upload them here.

Q: What can I expect from your consulting services?

A: As our logo says, KISS consulting stands for “Keep It Smart Statistics”.  We define “SMART” as Specific-Maximize-Actionable-Rigor-Timely.

We are committed to providing consulting services that are

  • tailored to you specific needs
  • maximizing the effectiveness of data analysis
  • producing actionable results
  • with scientific rigor
  • in a timely fashion

Q: How are your consulting services different from that offered by the other consultants/companies?

A: At KISS consulting, all our consultants are experienced statisticians and researchers with doctoral degrees from top-ranked US and Canadian universities.  Dr. Alex Kiss, the founder and CEO of KISS Consulting, holds a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Columbia University. Currently in charge of research design and biostatistics department at the biggest research hospital in Canada, he is one of the most productive researchers in the world.  You can constantly find his name as one of the co-authors of articles published in a variety of academic journals, including the most prestigious ones such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Statistical Association, Cancer, and The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies (Click here to view Dr. Kiss ‘s list of publications).  Dr. Kiss also holds a professor position at University of Toronto and is a grant review panelist at Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and a long standing member of the American Statistical Association.

Led by Dr. Kiss’s leadership and vision, KISS consulting has always been and will always be committed to delivering the  highest level of quality, professionalism and ethical standards in the statistical consulting services we provide to our clients.  Our doctorate-level specialists not only have exceptional backgrounds in wide areas of research, but also have extensive experience in teaching postgraduate level courses at top-tier universities. We know the best methods to make quantitative research design and analysis easily understood, implemented, as well as cost efficient.  We are passionate in assisting our clients to complete their goals and achieve success.

Q: How do you protect the data I send to you?

A:  KISS consulting has a very strict data protection policy in place to protect client data.

We are committed to

  • Ensuring that data is collected and used fairly and lawfully.
  • Processing client data only in order to meet our operational needs or fulfill legal and contractual requirements.
  • Establishing appropriate retention periods for client data.  Client data will be deleted automatically by our internal data security system 90 days after the client’s project has been completed.
  • Ensuring that data subjects’ rights can be appropriately exercised.
  • Providing adequate security measures to protect client data. Client data will be protected with encryption. Each file will be protected with a unique password, which will be held only by the analysts and consultants assigned to the project.
  • Ensuring that all staff is made aware of standard practice for data protection.
  • Ensuring that queries about data protection, internal and external to the organization, is dealt with effectively and promptly.
  • Regularly reviewing data protection procedures and guidelines within the organization.

Q. Do you sign Non-Disclosure Agreement/Confidentiality Agreement?

A: Yes, we do sign non-disclosure agreements with clients who request it. We have a standard non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement. Upon request via our contact us page, we will email the agreement to you. However, if you require us to sign a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement of your choice, we could accommodate such request as well. Please call us at 647-390-KISS (5477) or email info@akissconsulting.com for more details.

Q: How long does it table to complete projects?

A:  We are committed to providing SMART (Specific-Maximize-Actionable-Rigor-Timely) consulting services.  In order to provide you a completion time, we would need to know the scale and specifics of your project.   To help us better understand your needs, please think about the following questions before connecting with us:

  • What is the nature of the study (i.e. survey, experimental study, clinical trial)?
  • What are the objectives of the project?
  • Does the data come from various sources? If so, please list the sources.
  • How large is your study sample size?
  • How many variables does the dataset contain?
  • What are the coding guidelines for the datasets?
  • What kind of analysis do you have in mind?
  • What type of computer software you would like us to use (i.e. SPSS, SAS)?
  • What is the timeline you have in mind?

We provide  FREE initial consultation for clients. Simply call us at 647-390-KISS (5477) or email info@akissconsulting.com to let us discuss your statistical problems.

Q: How much do you charge for your consulting services?

A: Our rate varies according to the nature and scale of the project.  We would like to know the specifics about your study/project before providing you with a fixed price quote and completion time.

We provide FREE initial consultation. Simply call us at 647-390-KISS (5477) or email info@akissconsulting.com to let us discuss your statistical problems.

Q: Do you offer discounts to graduate students?

A: We have a perfect understanding about the economic situation most graduate students may face, as we went through the hard times ourselves. The quote we provide to graduate student would be substantially lower than our regulate rates.  We are as eager to see you complete your dissertation and get your desired degree.  We take pride in providing affordable, timely and reliable dissertation help in statistical analysis and research design to graduate students.

Q: How could I pay you?

A: We accept Interac® e-Transfer, Paypal, Western Union Money Transfer, Money Order, Certified Bank Draft.  After the final price has been determined, we charge 50% of this amount upfront to commence with the project. We then invoice the remainder upon completion of the project.  We will also try our best to accommodate requests for other methods of payment not included above.

Q: Can I add new requests for statistical analysis once a project is completed?

A:  Yes. We expect this to happen often, particularly when we work with graduate students. After the thesis committee meeting, your supervisor or committee members may have new suggestions for data analysis.  We are happy to accommodate such requests and tackle minor ones without additional charge.

Q: Do you have a statistics app?

A: Yes. We have an app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android called Statistics Professor  on how and when to use statistical tests. This app incorporates tables and examples that have been helping researchers and students learn statistics over the past decade. The app is offered at a price of $2.99.

Have a question you would like to ask that is not addressed here? Call 647-390-KISS (5477), email info@akissconsulting.com or complete the inquiry form for a fast reply.