Statistics Consulting Group Serves Campus Needs

"This service has helped A TON”,  states Magen Rooney, graduate assistant from the College of Education, regarding the new Statistical Consulting Services (SCS). "When we began to analyze our data, we weren't really sure what tests to run. The stats consultants helped us figure out what to run and how to run them...I have spent probably at least 10 different sessions with the consultants. It has been one of the best resources on campus."

SCS is a partnership between Technology Services’ Research IT, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), CITL, and the Library’s Scholarly Commons. During the Fall of 2017, SCS communicated and consulted more than 400 times with customers from more than 14 campus units and taught more than 217 registrants in workshops, despite only being available since August 29, 2017. The team employs six part-time graduate students to consult on a variety of statistics-related questions. Consulting occurs in one-on-one meetings and workshops.

Clients from throughout the University have taken advantage of the service. Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff all benefited from the skills and knowledge of the consulting staff. James Steur, a Post Doc Fellow from the Department of Political Science, has found great benefit in the service.

The...stats consultants were amazing. They helped make my data manageable and explained statistical concepts like p-values so clearly. I wouldn't have been able to succeed in my classes or research projects without their help. This service is one of the most invaluable offered here at UIUC.

Consultants’ expertise includes statistical software such as:

  • R

  • Stata

  • SPSS

  • SAS

  • ATLAS.ti

  • survey software

  • some Microsoft Office applications

SCS is scheduled to be available through the summer of 2018. Additional funding must be secured in order to continue to offer statistical consulting to campus beyond this school year.

Maryalice Wu, manager of the consulting team, reports that she would like to continue offering the free consultations to campus by extending the service for at least three more years. Should SCS continue, office hours will expanded, staff will be added, and additional workshops may be provided.

Statistical Consulting Services is available for in-person consultation from 10am-4pm Monday through Friday in room 306 of the Main Library. The team can also be reached at citl-data@illinois.edu or via the Statistical Consulting Services website.

Icon chart showing customers by communication method. Customers greatly preferred email (71.43%) and in-person (24.75) communication. Contact by phone (1.83%) and Skype (0.66%) were the next most prevalent methods. 1% of customers used some other method of contact.     Bar graph showing first semester data for consultations by audience. Graduate students were the largest audience, with 380 consultations; followed by faculty (100); staff (50); undergrads (40); and unknown individuals (35).     Ring chart showing type of inquiry. The most common inquiry type was CITL Service Inquiries (100%), followed by statistics inquiries (40%), unknown inquiries (25%), survey design/construction inquiries (20%), data finding inquiries (15%), and qualitative data analysis (2%).