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Monday, April 8, 2013

Video Tutorial: MPlus Data Setup

Univariate and Multivariate Outliers

A univariate outlier is a data point that consists of an extreme value on one variable.  A multivariate outlier is a combination of unusual scores on at least two variables.  Both types of outliers can influence the outcome of statistical analyses.  Outliers exist for four reasons.  Incorrect data entry can cause data to contain extreme cases.  A second reason for outliers can be failure to indicate codes for missing values in a dataset.  Another possibility is that the case did not come from the intended sample.  And finally, the distribution of the sample for specific variables may have a more extreme distribution than normal. 

In many parametric statistics, univariate and multivariate outliers must be removed from the dataset.  When looking for univariate outliers for continuous variables, standardized values (z scores) can be used.  If the statistical analysis to be performed does not contain a grouping variable, such as linear regression, canonical correlation, or SEM among others, then the data set should be assessed for outliers as a whole.  If the analysis to be conducted does contain a grouping variable, such as MANOVA, ANOVA, ANCOVA, or logistic regression, among others, then data should be assessed for outliers separately within each group.  For continuous variables, univariate outliers can be considered standardized cases that are outside the absolute value of 3.29.  However, caution must be taken with extremely large sample sizes, as outliers are expected in these datasets.  Once univariate outliers have been removed from a dataset, multivariate outliers can be assessed for and removed.  

Multivariate outliers can be identified with the use of Mahalanobis distance, which is the distance of a data point from the calculated centroid of the other cases where the centroid is calculated as the intersection of the mean of the variables being assessed.  Each point is recognized as an X, Y combination and multivariate outliers lie a given distance from the other cases.  The distances are interpreted using a p < .001 and the corresponding χ2 value with the degrees of freedom equal to the number of variables.  Multivariate outliers can also be recognized using leverage, discrepancy, and influence.  Leverage is related to Mahalanobis distance but is measured on a different scale so that the χ2 distribution does not apply.  Large scores indicate the case if further out however may still lie on the same line. Discrepancy assesses the extent that the case is in line with the other cases.  Influence is determined by leverage and discrepancy and assesses changes in coefficients when cases are removed.  Cases > 1.00 are likely to be considered outliers.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creating a fact sheet to obtain participation in a study

Potential study participants need to know a series of information to decide if they would like to participate in your research. Some things they will need to know will include dates that the survey can be completed, how to gain access to the survey, what the study is about, if participation in the study is voluntary or mandatory, how long the survey will take, if there are restrictions as to who can participate, and if participants will remain anonymous or confidential.

In order to take part in a survey, potential participants will need to know how to access your survey as well as when the survey can be accessed. The researcher should inform the reader using information such as: The survey will be available Monday, March 18, 2013 - Monday, April 22, 2013. To take part in the survey you will need internet access. The following link will direct you to the survey: Another option is that the researcher will email the potential participants the link to the survey.

Prior to participating in the survey, the candidates will want to know what the research is about. Let them know who you are and describe what the aim of the study is. Provide insight into what you hope to achieve with the data that is collected. Let the potential participant know if the survey contains material that may be sensitive. Also, inform them of any inclusion criteria they must meet to participate in the survey. Inform them if participation in the study is mandatory or voluntary.

It is also helpful to inform the participant of how long the survey will take and if there is more than one round of surveys to complete. Providing the potential participant with accurate estimates of how long the survey will take will possibly decrease the likelihood of participant drop out. If the researcher grossly underestimates how long the survey will take, the participants will be less likely to complete the entire survey. The researcher should also inform the participant if the information will be anonymous, confidential, or available.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dissertation Consulting...Getting the Help You Need

I felt a need to blog about getting dissertation support.  A client came to me a year ago seeking dissertation help.  At the time, she was not ready for that support and she subsequently spent another two (unnecessary) semesters at her university at $4,600/semester.  She then came back to me, with her financial aid maxed out at $160,000 and no further ahead in the dissertation process.  The point is this, sure, our services are a few thousand dollars, but we do help clarify your thinking, write data analysis plans and results chapters - and keep you moving.  

Get the help you need! Don’t wait until your financial aid is maxed-out and the thought of not finishing starts to take root. Statistics Solutions has been in business for decades, helping students from Walden, Phoenix, Capella, Nova Southeastern and many, many others.  Get the dissertation help and get out as soon as possible.  Our initial statistical consultation takes about 30 minutes and is always free at 877-437-8622 or

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Myth of Mixed Method Dissertations

I want dissertation students to be empowered in their dissertations, to learn something, and to graduate.  In the dissertation consulting business, Statistics Solutions has come across a lot of mixed method dissertations, and theyre seemingly on the rise.  When I ask the graduate student why they want to review two methodologies, then conduct and interpret both quantitative and qualitative methods, they invariably say because their advisor told them to.  The lament of the dissertation chairs are "one methodology is not enough" or I want you to "triangulate your findings."  There are literally tens of thousands of purely quantitative OR qualitative dissertations sitting in the library, so why this trend? 

First, I suspect that the chairs are getting pressure from the top, who are getting pressure from accreditation boards, to have more scholarly dissertations.  The answer to more scholarly dissertations is not more breath, but more depth.  Dissertations are to be original, add to the literature on a topic, and to provide a research experience to the student--this can certainly be done with one methodology.  And let's all be honest, most institutions are not research institutions--and maybe the chairs, administration, and accreditation boards should stop trying to put a square peg into a round hole, and appropriately focus on a dissertation that the students have been prepared to conduct.  (and by the way, just giving them a few dissertation classes is not preparation--the entire graduate experience is the preparation--if you can't do it, don't expect miracles in the last year).

Second, I suspect there is a mismatch between what the students comfort and preparation level and the chairs experience. Theres an old adage, that "your down on what youre not up on."  Dissertation students should therefore pick wisely who their chair (and committee) is and simply ask them what kind of dissertations they have predominantly worked on, and even what the advisors own dissertation methods were like.    

Third, students are not empowered, nor have the experience, to say I want to do just quantitative or just qualitative.  I believe this happens for several reasons.  The dissertation is primarily an individual process and bouncing the process off others in a confidential manner with colleagues is difficult.  Second, there are a lot more people involved in the process: the chairperson, the committee, IRB or URR, the dean--so the chances of the dissertation getting stuck in one of these areas is much greater than just taking a class where the teacher has virtual total control of the process. I also think anxiety sets in.  Anxiety is natural since dissertation students are so close to finishing, the process is brand new, and their control seems to be at a minimum.

So whats the solution?  First, pick the dissertation chairperson well and only once.  Changing chairpersons will almost always cost you more time and money.  Youre going to spend a year or more with this person in the dissertation process, so its worth it to have a few conversations prior to committing to that chair.  Second, as odd as it may sound, disengage emotionally from the process.  There are a lot of things you have no control over--sometimes the topic, department response time, and the structure of the process itself.  Just focus on what you can control, dispassionately, and consistently.  Finally, get support--social support, collegial support, statistics support, APA editing support--put the odds in your favor by getting help you need in the process with people who know you and the process.  The stakes are high, your time, energy, and monetary investment has been great, so finish strong, as quickly as possible, and get something out of the experience--thats the kind of triangulation you truly need.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dissertation Chairs as Head Chefs

Dissertation chairpersons should be like head chefs—directing the doctorate student (the line cook) and the rest of the prep-chefs in the kitchen (i.e., the committee members).  But too often, the head chef defers his or her responsibility to the committee members (methodologists, statisticians members, or others).  This is very confusing for dissertation students as too often committee members want different things, in different orders, with different emphases.  Do you know what happens in a kitchen when prep-chefs have no leader?  You got it, the entire meal is uncoordinated and it doesn’t go together.  For dissertation students, this means frustration, more time in school, more tuition, and sitting on wonderful ingredients with no meal plan.  

While there was a lot of frustration in my own Ph.D. tenure, mostly because there were lots of dogmatic prep-chefs, when it came to the dissertation process, there was one, and only one, head chef—my dissertation chair.  Yes, the committee read the dissertation (probably the night before), but my chairperson had worked with me for over a year.  During that year we created, recreated, and corrected the methodology, the research design, and really the first three chapters were polished.  Consequently, my committee had very few comments because the head chef did his job!  In fact, during my dissertation proposal defense, it was more of a matter of explaining my research and defending it, and it went smoothly.  

So I implore all of those dissertation chairpersons to be head chefs.  Do not abrogate your responsibility to prep-chefs, even smart ones, for you put your doc student at a disadvantage, you lose their respect, your university loses credibility, and it’s just not right.  OK, you don’t have the statistical skill set, stick to qualitative dissertations, and if you have good quantitative skills than go promote yourself as a quantitative chair.  When you chair a dissertation, don’t just push them off to the methodologist, go get the skills yourself, if you do push them off make sure you are in the “cc” loop, and most importantly, get your dissertation student the unique support they both need and deserve that only you as a chairperson can provide.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dissertation Help for Business Specializations

For those whose businesses require statistics and data analysis, presentations, reports, reviews etc, and who are not fully equipped with the resources or required expertise to come up with the material, a statistics consultant acts as their problem solvers. A statistical consultant is one who takes on the task of measuring, interpreting and describing given topics and formulating information or collecting data for clients. Highly popular in various fields, a statistics consultant has confirmed his/her importance and significance in today’s world. Cutting edge advancements, developments and competition call for the need of a team of experts willing to unite their minds together and work towards success in all domains.

A statistics consultant is very significant. Constantly busy and on-the-run, a client does not always have time to perform all of the various tasks involved in statistical analysis. A statistics consultant, however, works to provide end-to-end threads of information, data, and facts and figures to the clients. Statistics consultants function in various fields and apply diverse techniques in areas like business, medicine, psychology, law, industry and government. They work effectively to provide precise and accurate results. A statistics consultant acts as an advisor for the clients and counsels them with their findings and researches. Their role differs from project to project. A statistics consultant designs experiments and research studies for the clients. The procedure and technique is determined by the statistical consultant who also conducts research, data analysis, and provides reports and reviews for the clients. When it comes to the businesses concerned, a statistical consultant is reliable and effective at providing exact data and information. A statistical consultant also performs tasks like choosing, constructing and analyzing the tools and methods to be implemented for the provision of quality results to the clients. This way, the statistics consultant ensures the successful working of business operations. A statistics consultant is very precise and clear and utilizes clear-cut methods properly designed to attain the desired results.

A statistics consultant carries a lot of weight and responsibility in the world of business today. One should possess unique communication and verbal skills essential for interaction with clients and should be able to relate to the client cordially. Clients are always a first priority and the statistical consultant is always striving to satisfy them as per their requirements. Besides these communication skills, the statistics consultant has also to possess scientific, statistical and computer skills. Statistical knowledge is necessary to every statistics consultant because a consultant has to employ the required technical skills and designs and implementation. A scientific outlook is absolutely necessary for a statistics consultant. Finally, basic computer skills are absolutely necessary for a statistics consultant because the use of various new statistical software ensures reliable and accurate results. The statistics consultant must therefore acquire and have such traits and skills so that they are able to process and provide adequate data.

A statistics consultant is very beneficial to industries throughout. However, the special advantage lies in the fact that small-scale industries gain added value and can expect increased profits. With a statistics consultant completing the given tasks on time, within budget and fuelled with skilled techniques and methods, small-scale industries (in particular the small ones who would otherwise not have much opportunities) gain tremendously. With professionals handling the research work and required undertakings, chances for a large boost in profit for such industries increase.

A statistics consultant is therefore absolutely necessary in today’s modern era. Providing precise and well defined information and data to their clients, a statistics consultant is invaluable. With a highly skilled team of experts, the horizon and scope of amateurs in the field of statistics broadens, enriching businesses with the best of services as required by the customers. With comprehensive techniques, the statistics consultant is of extreme importance to all bodies. They are proficient and add much value to the businesses.

For more information on statistics consultants, click here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How Can Statistical Consulting Firms Help?

How can statistical consulting firms help?

If you are a business owner, a manager or an individual looking for help with statistics, statistical consulting firms are your best answer in terms of getting help. Statistical consulting firms can provide accurate and reliable statistical analysis to anyone needing help with statistics. Statistical consulting firms provide an invaluable service as statistical consulting firms provide guidance, assistance and answers to any statistical question or issue an individual, a business or a company may have.

Statistics Solutions is the country's leading statistical consulting firm. Contact Statistics Solutions today for a free 30-minute consultation.

How, exactly, can statistical consulting firms help me?

If you are in need of help with statistics, statistical consulting firms are your best bet for getting affordable, dependable and accurate results. This is true because statistical consulting firms are staffed with trained statisticians who are experts at helping others with statistical issues and problems. Statistical consulting firms will listen to your statistical needs and determine the best way to provide the information that you are looking for. Statistical consulting firms will work with the client as they come up with the best strategy in terms of harnessing the power of statistics.

How important is it for me to use statistical consulting firms?

If you are struggling with statistics, it is extremely important for you to use statistical consulting firms. This is true because there is no better way to get expert advice and help on statistical issues than by using statistical consulting firms. And while it might be tempting to attempt to solve your own statistical problems, this can lead to disastrous results, as the wrong statistics can lead to making poor business decisions that can greatly affect the bottom line. Statistical consulting firms are available for a reason—and that is because they can be extremely useful to anyone in need of help with statistics.

Additionally, statistical consulting firms can provide feedback and advice in areas where one might not even consider. In other words, statistical consulting firms will look at the entire business or corporation and in doing so, they will come up with a plan of action that will deal with the entire business or corporation. They might therefore make suggestions that a business or organization had not even considered. And that suggestion might make a huge difference when it comes to profitability and efficiency. It is therefore essential to seek help from statistical consulting firms, as the expert advice they give can make a huge difference in the profitability of a business, organization or company.

Can statistical consulting firms help me if I am a student?

Yes, if you are a student seeking help from statistical consulting firms, statistical consulting firms can indeed help you. Most students seek help from statistical consulting firms because they need help with the statistics part of their dissertation. This is quite common as oftentimes students are not properly trained in statistics. And yet, they need to make use of statistics in order to successfully complete their dissertation. In these cases, getting help from statistical consulting firms is the best solution as statistical consulting firms can provide help, feedback, assistance and guidance throughout the entire dissertation process. If you are a student and you are struggling with the statistics portion of your dissertation, there is no better, more affordable way to get help than to seek the assistance of statistical consulting firms. With the help provided by statistical consulting firms, you will be well on your way to finishing your dissertation accurately, precisely and in a timely manner. And this, of course, is the entire point—to finish the lengthy and difficult dissertation with great success.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dissertation Consultants

Dissertation consultants provide help, assistance, guidance and mentorship to anyone who is working on his or her dissertation. This help, guidance, assistance and mentorship can be invaluable to anyone who is working on his or her dissertation as the dissertation is the most challenging aspect of a student’s career. Dissertation consultants, therefore, are the best way to get help on a dissertation.

Statistics Solutions is the country's leading dissertation consultant specializing in research methodology, dissertation statistics, APA style editing, and more. Contact Statistics Solutions today for a free 30-minute consultation.

Dissertation consultants help students with every single aspect of the dissertation. This includes giving help on the actual topic—something that seems easy but can actually pose many problems. Oftentimes students have an idea of what they want to study, research and write a dissertation on, but they do not know how to narrow their topic down so that it makes sense statistically. Dissertation consultants can help narrow down the topic as dissertation consultants can provide expert advice in terms of what can and cannot be studied statistically. Additionally, once the actual topic is chosen, dissertation consultants can help a student phrase that topic so that it makes sense statistically as well. While students know what it is they want to study, they stumble when it comes to phrasing it correctly.

Once the topic has been chosen, dissertation consultants can help students when it comes to doing dissertation research. Dissertation research can be extremely lengthy because it needs to be extensive. Dissertation research provides the student with information about what has already been studied in their chosen field. Because every dissertation needs to provide new information on a topic of study, it is very important to do careful dissertation research so that a student does not write a dissertation on a topic or area that has been studied in the past. Dissertation consultants can help the student do the dissertation research, as dissertation consultants know the best methods to do dissertation research. Dissertation consultants can also help students when it comes to documenting the dissertation research, as this will be used in the literature review for the dissertation. Dissertation consultants will help students every step of the way when it comes to the dissertation research and the literature review.

Once the dissertation research is completed and all research has been well documented, the student and the dissertation consultants can get to work on the actual dissertation. This involves much time spent on the statistics part of the dissertation. All dissertations contain statistics, and this is where the dissertation consultants can be most beneficial. Dissertation consultants are experts when it comes to statistics, as many dissertation consultants are statisticians. Additionally, many dissertation consultants have received their doctoral degrees and are very familiar with the stress and anxiety that students feel as they write their dissertations. Thus, dissertation consultants know exactly what the student is going through, and dissertation consultants can relieve some of this stress and worry.

Dissertation consultants will help with every single aspect of the statistical portion of the dissertation. This means that dissertation consultants will help with the gathering of data, the interpretation of that data and the administering of that data to the dissertation. In other words, dissertation consultants will take every student through every single part of the statistical work successfully and accurately. Additionally, dissertation consultants will provide instruction so that the student actually knows what’s going on in their dissertation. This is extremely important as all students will have to defend their dissertation.

With the help of dissertation consultants, students can finish on-time and with success. There is absolutely no better way to work on a dissertation than with dissertation consultants by the student’s side.