PMean: How to run your first Bayesian analysis using jags software in R

Someone wanted to know how to run a Bayesian data analysis for a two group longitudinal study. There are several ways you can do this, but I had to confess I did not have an immediate answer. So I took some time to figure out how to do this using jags software inside of R. I’ve done a fair amount of stuff in jags, but not anything close to a longitudinal design. The general principle is to start with something easy and work your way slowly up to the final analysis. Continue reading

Recommended: Statistical Issues Seen in Non-Statistics Proposals

If you are writing a research grant, there are a lot of statistical issues that you need to consider. This guide, prepared by the American Statistical Association, highlights three areas: framing the problem, designing the study, and specifying the data analysis plan. It doesn’t talk enough about data management, but otherwise it is an excellent resource. Continue reading

PMean: A personal biography

I got in touch with a colleague from my days at Bowling Green State University. That was in the 1980s and my life had changed substantially since those days. While I have many professional biographies (such as this one from 2016), none of them covered the more personal aspects of my life. So here’s a brief biography for anyone who is interested in more than just where I worked. Continue reading

Why secondary data analysis takes a lot longer

Someone posted a question noting that most of the statistical consulting projects that they worked on finished in a reasonable time frame, a few were outliers. They took a lot longer and required a lot more effort by the statisticians. Were there any common features to these outliers they wondered. So they asked if anyone else had identified methodological features of projects that went overtime. I only had a subjective impression, but thought it was still worth sharing. Continue reading

Recommended: Defining Urban and Rural Areas in U.S. Epidemiologic Studies

I’m somewhat new to geocoding. One of the first things you might be interested in, if you have geographic data, is an indicator as to whether a certain address, zip code, or county is urban or rural. This is actually quite a complex topic. This paper outlines some of the basic systems to classifying a location as urban, rural, or something in between (e.g., suburban). Continue reading

Recommended: Practical advice for analysis of large, complex data sets

This is a nice compilation of issues that you should be concerned. The examples are mostly from things that interest Google, but you will find this advice itself is useful no matter what type of data you work with. The advice is split into three broad categories: technical (e.g., look at your distributions), process (e.g., separate validation, description, and evaluation), and communication (e.g., data analysis starts with questions, not data or a technique). Continue reading