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A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers by Necip Doganaksoy, Gerald J. Hahn

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CHAPTER 10

ON-THE-JOB STRATEGIES: COMMUNICATION, PUBLICIZING, AND ETHICS

10.1 ABOUT THIS CHAPTER

I want to talk to an expert—not a know-it-all.

—Charles Schwab advertisement

In this chapter, we discuss important on-the-job strategies for statisticians that pertain to

  • Communication.
  • (Subtly) publicizing statistics and statisticians.
  • Ethical considerations.

10.2 COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION

The ability to communicate effectively at all levels is essential to a statistician's success, as we have tried to make clear throughout this book, and especially in Section 6.3. In this section, we provide some hints for effective communication.

10.2.1 Adjust to the Environment

Statisticians can become enamored with statistics.

—Scott Pardo

Most students of statistics are surrounded by other students and professors who talk the same technical language and think along similar quantitatively oriented lines as themselves. Moving to an environment where statistical jargon is an unfamiliar language, and statistics itself may be viewed as a boring discipline, often comes as an unpleasant surprise.

There is much variability in the level of interest and understanding of statistics among those with whom we interact. Some rely heavily on gut feeling assessments and have limited knowledge of—or interest in—statistical concepts. In contrast, others, such as many quantitatively trained financial analysts, engineers, and scientists, have a good appreciation of and a high interest in using ...

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