Statistics consultancy

The Statistical Consultancy service (known as Stats Desk) has been running since 1994, making it the longest-running help service at the University of Kent.

Our core users are students needing statistical advice with projects but we also assist academic colleagues. The service is free of charge and supported by the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT).

We can:

  • Support you with designing an investigation,
    including help with the preparation of questionnaires,
  • Help you to select the right techniques, tools, and software for analysing data,
  • Advise on statistical analyses and presentation of conclusions.

How the service works

Members of the Statistics Group (in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science) participate in a weekly rota (see below).

The duty statistician responds to new enquiries throughout the week. Wherever possible the person who dealt with the original enquiry will help with follow-up enquiries.

While we can handle simple enquiries by email or ‘phone, most will entail a one-to-one meeting, arranged by appointment.

Since some issues require specialist knowledge, the duty statistician may refer you to a colleague who is an expert in that field.

Supervisors of students are always welcome to attend consultations (this can be especially helpful for postgraduate students).

Examples of how we have helped

Over the years, the work of the Statistics Consultancy Desk has been very diverse, both in terms of statistical topics and application areas.

Examples of statistical topics Examples of application areas
  • design of questionnaires,
  • experimental design,
  • logistic regression,
  • mixture models,
  • matched pairs,
  • categorical data analysis,
  • bootstrap methods,
  • stratified sampling, and
  • spatial analysis.
  • face recognition,
  • binge drinking,
  • dolphin behaviour,
  • text processing,
  • genetic algorithms,
  • use of foreign words by non-native speakers,
  • the internal consistency of questionnaire responses, and
  • health and wellbeing issues such as breastfeeding, prostate cancer, and clinical trials of Viagra,

Some enquiries have led to long-term collaborations involving joint publications and research grants. Topics include yeast prions, diseases of parrots, tiger conservation, and historical economic time series.

Please note:

We can’t help with advice on coursework or exercises related to taught modules. Instead, you should contact the Maths and Stats Clinic.

Whilst we try to provide helpful advice, we are not able to provide formal statistical approval for research proposals or other forms.

Whilst we can offer advice on data analysis, we are not able to undertake the analysis itself.

Though we try to provide help with a range of computing applications/systems, we do not have expertise in every such application/system.

Stats Desk is not able to provide advice to people who are not members of the University of Kent.

Accessing the service

The service is available by appointment during term time and, subject to staff availability, during the summer break.

To use the service you need to arrange an appointment with the statistician on duty. We cannot see people without a prior appointment.

Email stat-desk@kent.ac.uk.

You don’t have to be on campus to email us, but you must email from your university email account. This is to reduce spam.

Our offices are in the Sibson Building, Parkwood Road, which offers accessible access to all floors.

Location map

Stats Desk rota

Week commencing 16 September 2019: Dr James Bentham

Week commencing 23 September 2019: Professor Martin Ridout

Week commencing 30 September 2019: Dr Owen Lyne

Week commencing 07 October 2019: Dr Alexa Laurence

Week commencing 14 October 2019: Dr Cristiano Villa

Week commencing 21 October 2019: Dr Maria Kalli

Week commencing 28 October 2019: Dr Eleni Matechou

Week commencing 04 November 2019: Dr Oscar Rodriguez de Rivera Ortega

Week commencing 11 November 2019: Professor Jian Zhang

Week commencing 18 November 2019: Dr Alfred Kume

Week commencing 25 November 2019: Dr Xue Wang

Week commencing 02 December 2019: Dr Peng Liu

Week commencing 09 December 2019: Dr James Bentham