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Statistical Computing

Statistical Computing

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Wiki: Statistical Consulting Services

Statistical Consulting Services

We aim to advance SMU research competency and capabilities by providing dedicated statistical consultation support to SMU researchers. Our consulting services include the three major parts:

  • Identification and implementatioin of appropriate statistical methods and computing packages
  • Provision of statistical insight on data analysis, theoretical models, and statistical computations
  • Use the list of SMU supported statistical software for statistical software consultation, code troubleshooting and interpretation of program outputs

Besides the statistical consulting services, we provide bi-annual training workshops on the use of the three most common statistical software across campus: SAS, STATA and SPSS. The training notes are available to download in our site Statistical Software Training Schedules and Online Notes.



1.    Do you provide walk-in consulting service?

You will have to make an appointment with our statistician. We will arrange a visit if necessary.



2.    How to contact your statistician or request a service request?

You can reach our statistician by raising a service request.  



3.    Who do you help?

The statistical consulting services are open to all SMU researchers. We welcome faculty, postgraduate students and RAs to come to us. Our services are also open to SMU staff upon requests. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough resources to support undergraduate students and TAs for now. We will make certain arrangements to open our services to them if a considerable number of cases have been requested from them.



4.    What kinds of assistance are inappropriate?

We like to help as many SMU researchers as possible. However, there is a large gray area demarcating activities that are clearly appropriate from those that are clearly inappropriate, it is generally not proper or possible for us to:


Write programs to perform your data management and analyses for you. We suggest strategies, show you example programs, or outline programs for you, but we cannot write the entire programs for you.


Make decisions about how you should analyze your data.  We suggest the various analyses which can be performed on your data, the pros and cons of the analyses, but it is your decision on what final analyses you should use for your research objectives.


Solve very difficult problems to meet imminent deadlines.  We strongly recommend allocating enough time for your data analysis. Despite our years of experience, we simply cannot solve two months worth of work in 30 minutes.


Help you with your coursework. For students, the best person to help you with your coursework is your Professor. 



5.    Are there labs on campus where I can do my massive statistical computing?

We have High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC) for you to conduct massive or repetitive statistical computing. To find out more about our HPCC, please visit the HPCC site.



6.       Are you the only group that offers this kind of help on campus?

Well, we are the only group that offers free year round statistical consulting services geared towards researchers on the entire campus.



7.    Can you help me get statistical software?

Yes. We have a list of SMU supported statistical software free for you to use. We have Software Engineer to help you install them. For other range of software, we will help you make a purchase using your fund. You can find the detailed list of statistical software available and installation guides on our Statistical Software and Installations.



8.    Can you teach me how to use my computer or maybe Microsoft Office?

Unfortunately we cannot. You can approach SMU helpdesk for help.