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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Statistical work: the changing occupational landscape

Statistical work: the changing occupational landscape

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 Statistical work: the changing occupational landscape
Source:
Data in Society
Author(s):

Kevin McConway

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.003.0002

It never was the case that only statisticians work with statistics, but the occupational landscape is becoming more and more diverse. This chapter looks at the work of statisticians and data scientists, but also at how journalists, campaigners, and academics such as economists and psychologists work with statistics, and how the resulting variety of approaches and orientations shapes the discipline of statistics and how it is seen. I consider the following questions. First, who analyses what data? In particular, how do two relatively new occupations, data scientist and data journalist, fit in? Second, who presents the results to which audiences, and in particular, how are statistical findings communicated to the general public? Third, who defines what statistical analyses are appropriate, and to what extent is the ‘replication crisis’ really a crisis for statistics? Fourth, who trains whom in working with data, and how might that depend on the influence of data science? None of these questions have straightforward answers. There have been and continue to be changes in all of them. They all involve people who would not be described, by themselves or others, as ‘statisticians’.

Keywords:   Statisticians’ work, discipline of statistics, data scientist, data journalist, replication crisis

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