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The Effective Statistician - Sponsored by PSI

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Statisticians stepping up - leadership success stories - Part 1

Do you have what it takes to be a leader? What skills can you learn from the leadership program? What is the mastermind concept? How can the leadership program help you become a better influencer? In this interview, I’m speaking with two leadership students, Sam and Ludi, on what they have developed throughout The Effective Statistician Leadership program. You’ll learn a lot about how leadership helps you to achieve your goals at work and how it also helps you to increase your job...


4 reasons why statisticians fail to lead

Have you thought about being a leader? Do you feel responsible or afraid of taking the lead? Are you equipped enough to be one? Our definition of leadership is the ability to consistently deliver value to an organization or a cause by inspiring others to take a specific direction or action when they truly have the freedom of choice to do otherwise.


The average day for a statistician: It’s not mean!

Statistics isn’t traditionally known to be a trendy subject, but here we are saving lives around the world by developing new and mighty medicines. You’ve probably heard by now that data is basically gold, and fortunately we statisticians work with data. Now that’s a lot of power we hold, so let’s put it to good use! - What kind of companies are out there? - Statistics is needed to produce revolutionary new medicines - yes, really! - Will I be at a desk all day, on my own, in a windowless...


Don't be a victim

Do others not help you? Are they making your life hard? Is your company bad? Does your compound suck and hinders your work productivity? A lot of people complain about almost everything. Statisticians tend to be more on the introvert side and there are discussions that introverts are more likely to have a victim mentality.


Non-parametric analyses - much more than just the Wilcoxon test!

Frank has something in common with Benjamin and myself - we all studied statistics in Göttingen and learned and researched in non-parametric statistics. Afterwards, we went into different paths. Whereas Benjamin started at a CRO and I joined large pharma organizations, Frank continued on the academic track. He recently became Professor at the famous Charitee in Berlin, where he’s still dedicating a lot of research to the field of non-parametric statistics. However, he’s not an ivory tower...


Taking the pain out of subgroup analyses

Why do you think many of these “subgroup” projects are a headache for statisticians? Have you felt frustrations about such projects yourself? What are the steps to avoid or at least minimize these frustrations? Do you have the same questions in mind? These are some of the questions Necdet will be and sharing with us. This episode is based on a presentation at PSI 2019. Necdet won The Effective Statistician Best Presenter award for the amazing delivery of the presentation. But not only the...


My story of the Effective Statistician

Are you curious about why and how I started The Effective Statistician? What's in it for you? Why I'm passionate about it?


What matters most? A scientific advice role play on estimands

Are you a sponsor who is seeking joint scientific advice from a regulatory agency and from an HTA body? If yes, this episode is for you. This presentation replicates the discussions which may go on during scientific advice. The example was in Respiratory. This roleplay is played by David Wright, Oliver Keene, Stephen Ruberg, and myself. The aim is to show a couple of discussion points and an interesting aspect that may come up with such discussions. A lively debate followed about the...


How to become a leader in a cross-functional team

As statisticians, we work in cross-functional teams, but many people, especially junior people prefer to follow rather than to lead - and that's okay. Ask yourself: Do you always take the position of the follower or a leader? Do you need to train yourself to lead? Are you seen as an implementer? Do you have goals for your project?


Help to make your organisation and yourself outsourcing proof

A lot of statisticians, especially in pharmaceutical companies but also CROs, fear outsourcing because it might make their job redundant. Think about: What can you do about it? How can you add value to your organisation? What would it cost to outsource your organisation? If you would need to compete with other organisations, would you survive?


How to communicate effectively by telling data stories

Storytelling allows businesses to better understand insight. Data visualization is a great tool to help share, or tell a story, but relies on the story being written first. Improved data communication comes from combining good visualization with a well-written narrative. There's a lot to learn to be a good data storyteller. Today, I’m talking with Kat about: - What do you understand by storytelling with data? - Why is it important? - Which role should statisticians play? - What skills do...


How to make the collaboration between sponsor and CRO successful

There is an endless list of things that can go wrong in sponsor-CRO relations. I’m pretty sure you have been in painful discussions about this. Have you felt a lot of frustrations on both ends? If yes, this episode is for you. We’re sharing interesting insights here as Benjamin works for a CRO and I work for the sponsor side. We will be giving you a lot of insights on what to do and what not to do, and how to make the collaboration between a sponsor and a CRO successful.


Best of PSI 2019

The 2019 PSI Conference took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII), London, with the theme of “Data Driven Decision Making in Medical Research”. The sessions included early phase innovative trial design, industry best practice, statistical issues in safety drug labelling, model-based dose-finding designs, an update from Transcelerate and much more. In this series of interviews with the speakers at the conference, we talked about different topics: - Visualization software - Benefit...


Mistakes – How to minimize them – How to manage them

Do you agree that everybody makes mistakes? Have you had to deal with a mistake yourself, that you were really concerned about? Were you afraid about speaking with your supervisor or your team with it? We are all imperfect humans making mistakes. The questions are: how do we deal with them, what we can do about them, and what to do to minimize them. Processes are made to minimize mistakes and there different processes were set up to deal with mistakes and help you when mistakes occur.


Presenting with impact: 7 mistakes to avoid

Have you been sitting in boring presentations that made you start reading your emails? Have you been listening to someone, wondering if this is for me? Have you been getting away from a presentation and thinking 2 hours later: “what was this about?” You’re surely don’t want your audience to feel this way, when you’re presenting yourself. You can’t be an effective statisticians without good presentation skills from my perspective. You will always need to present results, defend designs, or...


Join the abstract writing challenge!

The last PSI conference has just ended, but the timeline for a new abstract submission for the next one in Barcelone in 2020 will come up in about November 2019. Thus, it’s important to now start thinking about it. Presenting at the PSI conference is an awesome experience. For me, PSI is by far the best conference for statisticians in the health sector as it is 100% applicable and actionable. If you’re abstract gets accepted for oral presentation or as a poster, you have a great argument for...


Are you up for a job change? Insights from a recruiter

I recently changed my job and moving from one company to another comes with lots of uncertainty. Will I pick the right one? How can I make sure, that I actually get the job, that I want? Will hiring companies find me and offer me jobs? For any statistician a job change represent a major shift and occurs rather infrequent – hopefully. For a recruiter – this is day-to-day business. Look out for lots of great learnings and insights!


How to work effectively as and with a placement student

Have you ever considered to work with a placement student? Do you consider to spend some time as a placement student yourself? In this interview with Katie Thorn and Claire Brittain, we’re exploring factors, which help to make it a win for both sides. Both have worked very well together and share their stories.


Questions to ask yourself before starting a new project

I recently talked to a statistician, that initiated a small company internal group of statisticians to drive forward methodological innovation projects. While this surely will help the individuals to learn more about statistical methods, it was less clear, why and on which topics the group should focus their activities on. While most of our day-to-day activities consists of running clinical studies, submissions and directly related work, we also engage in such innovation work streams or...


Understanding heterogeneity for patient preference data and how it effects the benefit-risk ratio for treatments

As statisticians in the medical field, we’re used to study subgroups of patients with respect to all kinds of biological variables: from demographics to genomics. This provides us with a good understanding of how the benefit-risk profile for a given patient looks like. However, the patient might have a completely different view on the importance of the different benefits and risks. And importantly, these preferences might be less driven by biologic factors and more by personal experiences...