I’m Jim Frost, and I have extensive experience in academic research and consulting projects. In addition to my statistics website, I am a regular columnist for the American Society of Quality’s Statistics Digest. Additionally, my most recent journal publication as a coauthor is The Neutral Gas Properties of Extremely Isolated Early-Type Galaxies III (2019) for the American Astronomical Society (abstract).
I’ve been the “data/stat guy” for research projects that range from osteoporosis prevention to analysis of online user behavior. My role has been to design the proper research settings, collect a large amount of valid measurements, and figure out what it all means. Typically, I’m the first person on the project to learn about new findings while interpreting the results of the statistical analysis. Even if the findings are not newsworthy, that thrill of discovery is an awesome job perk!
I love statistics and analyzing data! I’ve been performing statistical analysis on-the-job for 20 years and helping people learn statistics for over ten years at a statistical software company. I love talking and writing about statistics.
My Approach to Teaching Statistics
I want to help you learn statistics. But, I’m not talking about learning all the equations. Don’t get me wrong. Equations are necessary. Equations are the framework that makes the magic, but the truly fascinating aspects are what it all means. I want you to learn the true essence of statistics. I’ll help you intuitively understand statistics by focusing on concepts and graphs. Although, there might be a few equations!
I’ve spent over a decade working at a major statistical software company. When you work on research projects, you generally use a regular group of statistical analyses. However, when you work at a statistical software company, you need to know of all the analyses that are in the software! I helped people use our software to gain insights and maximize the value of their own data regardless of their field.
While working at the statistical software company, I learned how to present statistics in a manner that makes statistics more intuitive. I’ll be writing about my experiences and useful information about statistics. However, I’ll focus on teaching the concepts in an intuitive way and deemphasize the formulas. After all, you use statistical software so you don’t have to worry about the formulas and instead focus on understanding the results.
Statistics is an Amazing Field!
Statistics is the field of learning from data. That’s amazing. It gets to the very essence of discovery. Statistics facilitates the creation of new knowledge. Bit by bit, we push back the frontier of what is known. That is what I want to teach you! The goal of my website is to help you to see statistics through my eyes―as a key that can unlock discoveries that are in your data.
The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyone’s backyard.—John Tukey
I enthusiastically agree! If you have an inquisitive mind, statistical knowledge, and data, the potential is boundless. You can play in a broad range of intriguing backyards!
That interface between a muddled reality and obtaining orderly, valid data is an exciting place. This place ties together the lofty goals of scientists to the nitty-gritty nature of the real world. It’s an interaction that I’ve written about extensively on my blog, and I plan to continue to do so. It’s where the rubber meets the road.
One of the coolest things about the statistical analysis is that it provides you with a toolkit for exploring the unknown. Christopher Columbus needed many tools to navigate to the New World and make his discoveries. Statistics are the equivalent tools for the scientific explorer because they help you navigate the sea of data that you collect.
Why You Need to Understand Statistics
The world is becoming a progressively data-driven place, and to draw trustworthy conclusions, you must analyze your data properly. It’s surprisingly easy to make a costly mistake. Even if you’re not performing your own studies, you’ll undoubtedly see statistical analyses conducted by others. Can you trust their results or do they have their own agenda?
Just like there were many wrong ways for Columbus to use his tools, things can go awry with statistical analyses. I’m going to teach you how to use the tools correctly, to draw the proper conclusions, and to recognize the conclusions that should make you wary!
You’ll be increasingly thankful for these tools when you see a worksheet filled with numbers and you’re responsible for telling everyone what it all means.