Projects

Here are examples of some of the projects I have done for clients.

I. I analyzed sales data for oomph, a retailer of quality home furnishings in New Canaan, Connecticut, to help them refine their marketing strategy.

Combining data provided by oomph and data from government sources, I developed a model assessing how oomph’s marketing efforts were interacting with local demographic and economic conditions in affecting sales over time.

Check out oomph’s offerings at www.oomphonline.com!

 

II. An engineer at a manufacturing company asked me:

“I have a population of 20,000 parts, with a nonconforming proportion of 0.0010. From that population, I take a random sample n (say, n=2000). What is the probability that this random sample will have a nonconforming proportion greater than or equal to 0.0008?

“Looking at the limits of the problem, if n=1, the probability will be on the order of .0010, and as n approaches 20,000, the probability gets closer to 1. What I’m ideally looking for is a more accurate quantification of the probability as a function of n.”

I answered his question by:

  • Providing him with the formula underlying the analysis.  (It’s from the family of hypergeometric distributions.)
  • Giving him R code so that he could perform the analysis himself.
  • Creating a graph of the probability as a function of n.
  • Interpreting the results in straightforward English.

 

III. A former colleague of mine provides consulting services to post-secondary educational institutions.  She asked for my advice on analyzing the results of a survey she had conducted on employee satisfaction at a college.

I helped her:

  • Understand the pros and cons of various methods of aggregating response variables to create summary scales.
  • Choose the most appropriate models for her data.  In particular, I guided her through the choice between logistic, multinomial logistic, and ordinal logistic models.
  • Figure out how to run the models in SPSS.
  • Understand the results of the models.

 

IV. This example demonstrates my ability to conduct qualitative research and to understand the needs of manufacturing companies.

Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minnesota was planning to open a welding-training program at its campus in nearby Cambridge.  The college hired me to help ensure that the program would fit the needs of local manufacturing companies.

For this project, I conducted interviews at ten companies representing the diversity of welding employers in the area (based on size, location, and welding technologies used). I developed the interview protocol, recruited the companies, recorded and transcribed the interviews, and summarized my findings in a report and a presentation to the college.

The results of my work helped guide the design of the welding program in Cambridge, which is now in its second year of operation.