Fifteen Types of Clients Known to Statistical Consultants
Sender: Stat-L Discussion List <STAT-L@MCGILL1.BITNET>
From: James Ssemakula <JAMES@UCRAC1.UCR.EDU>
Subject: client types & consultant types
The following table is from Gerald van Belle 1982. Some aspects of teaching biostatistical consulting. in Rustagi J.G & D.A. Wolfe (eds) Teaching of Statistics and Statistical Consulting. Academic Press (pp 343-365).
Table 3. Some Extremes in Client Types, Their Characteristics and the Expected Roles of the Statistical Consultant.
|Observed Client Type||
|Expected Consultant Type|
|Dempsey Dumpster||Wants to dump the whole problem into the consultant's lap.||Slave|
|Rubber Stamper||Just wants p value < 0.05 certified. Preferably p < 0.01.||Witch Doctor|
|Type III Personality||Comes with wrong question. Does not want to consider correct answer.||Type III Statistician|
|Airport Professor||Wants analysis yesterday for tomorrow's conference in New Zealand: Leaving tonight.||Infinite Statistican|
|Dr. Northcote||Will take all available - and unavailable - time.||Dr. Parkinson|
|Kitchen Statistician||Wants statistician's approval of paper's statistical analysis severely criticized by referee.||Full Professor|
|Dr. T. V. Savant||Has vague feeling of needing statistics for valuable dataset. Wants statistician to define the question as well as the answer and write it up. Will consider making statistician 5th author on this important paper.||Psychiatrist|
|Innocent Abroad||Does not understand t test but wants factor analysis on 20 cases with 50 variables.||Magician|
|Tom Thumb||Everything's gone wrong in the experiment but the data are still "valuable and valid."||Incurable Optimist|
|Hydra||Every answer generates 9 more (quick) questions.||Hercules|
|Wallflower||Successively more complicated (simple) explanations to save the consultant's time.||Job|
|Dr. Avis||Wants some advanced analysis that competitor used in paper on same topic. Is sure competitor didn't understand it either.||Dr. Hertz|
|Tinkerer||Just wants to make a minor change and rerun analysis that took 5 weeks.||Sisyphus|
|Encyclopedia Salesman||Just wants 5 minutes for answer to simple question. Can be handled over the phone.||Gullible George|
|Scientist||Considers statistician as coworker and collaborator in the scientific enterprise.||Statistician|
I also found this table reprinted in the The Statistical Consultant, Spring 1995, Volume 12, No. 1, American Statistical Association.
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