The Effective Statistician - in association with PSI

The Effective Statistician - in association with PSI

The Effective Statistician - in association with PSI

Best of PSI 2018 - my personal view

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Today I'm looking back at the PSI conference 2018 in Amsterdam. You'll learn about my personal highlights and key take aways from the conference.

I have also interviewed some interesting people from the conference for you to get some feeling about the atmosphere at this amazing event.

In this episode, I'm  covering the following episodes:

Nupur Kolis key note speach in the plenary session  about “The Future of Healthcare: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges“
Interview with Nelson Kinnersley about the workshop "Owning Your Own Development"
The session "Not Just Another AE Table" with an interview with Maria Costa about "Personalised Benefit-Risk Assessment"
The workshop "Learn How To Swing: Hands on Workshop on Preference Elicitation in the Age of Personalised Medicine"
The session "Estimands Case Studies"
The session "Gone in 60 Seconds (Poster Review)" including an interview with Jules Hernandez-Sanchez
The keynote by Steve Ruberg about "Statistics and Data Science: Is Six the Same as a Half-Dozen?"
The workshop "Improving Your Communication"
The session "Patient Centricity"
The session "What Matters Most? - A Scientific Advice Role Play" including an interview with Mouna Akacha
The session "A Picture Says More Than 1000 Tables - Interactive Data Review"
The session "Regulatory Town Hall"

4 principles about effective delegation and how not only managers can benefit from it

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As a statistician we delegate all the time with programming being probably the most prevalent example.

In this episode, we start by showing in two personal examples how delegation improves your productivity amazingly or how it can lead into complete disaster.

Furthermore we cover the following questions:

- Why is delegation so important?
- Why are not only managers delegating?
- Why should I delegate, if I can do it myself?
- What task can I delegate?
- How can I delegate appropriately?
- Why are many people not delegating more actions?

By listening to this episode, you will also learn about these 4 principles of delegation:
- Any task should be done by the most junior team member possible.
- Delegate tasks in such a way, that they are interesting for the people to work on.
- Specify what goal you want achieved, defining together what a great outcome looks like and support as needed, but resist the urge to tell exactly how to achieve the goal.
- Delegate deliverables not tasks

The episodes concludes with a discussion on the how to create an environment where
- your team members thrive,
- you successfully reach great project outcomes,
- people are motivated and engaged, and
- both team members and leadership wins.

Impactful influencing: actionable advice to get things done through and with others

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In this episode we have our first non-statistician as a guest. Julia has build her own consulting and training company Zestfor. She and her team specialise in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life Sciences.

Getting things done through others is a key part or even the definition of leadership and her clients face often the same situation like statisticians. They need to convince people rather than commanding them.

In this episode, we cover the following topics:
- Why statisticians need to be more influential?
- Is influencing actually something bad on inappropriate?
- What characterises an influential person?
- Which practices help statisticians to increase their influence?
- Many statisticians are more introvert. As such, how can they deal with more extrovert business partners from other functions?
- Relationships are key for influencing without authority. Trust is key for building these relationships. What can statisticians do, to generate more trust?
- Networking is another aspect of building relationships. What actions to take to build networks?
- Many of us work in virtual settings to some extent. This poses additional barriers on influencing others as it is much harder to be heard and understood. Which techniques can we apply to overcome these hurdles?

How to successfully submit a reimbursement dossier in Australia?

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In order to make new drugs available to patients in Australia, a successful interaction with the PBAC – the Australian HTA body is needed. Alan Brnabic lives in Australia and collected a lot of experience with these submissions over the years.

In this episode, we cover:
- the basics of understanding how the PBAC works,
- why a successful PBAC submission is important,
- what evidence is needed to have a successful PBAC submission,
- how much work is needed from the statistician’s side for the PBAC interactions,
- what are the typical challenges from the PBAC,
- when is a good start to get prepared for the PBAC work, and
- how is the data submitted to PBAC publicly available.

As a statistician – do you take the back seat or do you drive yourself?

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In this podcast episode, we discuss an important part of leadership - proactive behaviour. Or simply put - drive!

As a statistician, you’re day-to-day approach about this topic will build up to long-term success.

We discuss various aspects of drive including:

- how it relates to your goals,
- what it takes to think strategically,
- which role innovation has here,
- what practical steps to take to drive teams forward,
- which knowledge to acquire to lead teams successfully,
- how this relates to influencing,
- and how your attitude will play a big role in this.

Everything to know to write programs like a pro

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Ok – not everything, but in this episode you will get all the tips to make sure, you avoid the most common mistakes and that your code looks professional.

Shafi Chowdhury is an expert programmer who has developed a style guide, which his clients apply broadly. He regularly gives trainings on SAS programming and build his own company based on these skills.

He walks us through the different points and clarifies, why they are important from an efficiency but also from a quality perspective.

On building your own company

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In this episode, we’ll cover an amazing story by one of the best programmers and mentors I ever worked with - Shafi Chowdhury (

We’ll explore how it changed from being a freelance programmer only to building his company on the side. He had a great vision in mind, that drove him forward.

You’ll also hear about his approach to teaching and mentoring – or in general helping people do their job better. His abundance mindset inspires me a lot. Shafi explains, why and how he made his own job redundant in his own company.

Retention is a major cost driver and disrupts some companies a lot. You’ll learn how he manages to have nearly no turn-over in his company and how is approach to recruiting and training new employees fits in to this.

Further, we’ll cover how and why Shafi and his team is regularly presenting at different conferences. We’ll especially go deeper on this presentation at the PSI conference in 2017 about an amazing tool to analyse and visualize data at the same time. His approach to delivering all this innovation is very unique.

Finally, you’ll learn a lot about the leadership attitude, that helped him grow his business fast into a medium sized CRO with a very stable client base.

Success starts in your head

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In this episode we share out ideas and experience, which mindset sets up statisticians for success. We cover topics around:

- Leading people
- Convincing business partners
- Delivering value and selling it - and what does selling means
- Thinking outside the status quo to improve things in the long run 
- Always learning about the business and the people in the business
- Learning about statistical innovation
- Doing things more effectively
- Becoming more impactfully
- Raising your business acumen - internally and externally
- Having quality in mind 

Quote of the Episode by Bill Gates “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

How to get out most from your PSI membership

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The guest in this episode represents the sponsor of this show - Nigel Howitt - current chair of PSI.

After a short introduction of Nigel and his experience with PSI, we will cover the following topics:

- How can someone, that is interested become a new PSI member?
- What rules are there for students?
- If you’re a data scientist in the pharma industry- is PSI the right association?
- How to get most out of PSI?
- What are the different ways, you can become more engaged within PSI?
- How can you get involved with one of the PSI committees? 
- What’s the role of the SIGs and how do you get involved there?
- What Nigel is recommending new members of PSI as first steps?
- What are your highlights of the PSI conference in Amsterdam?

Finally, we'll also discuss how to get most out of the conference.

A picture says more than 1000 tables!

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In this podcast episode, we tackle a difficult topic for a podcast, but Zak provides lots of expertise in this field and will introduce you to what visual analytics is and how it will help you.

Furthermore, we touch on questions like:

What is the difference that visual analytics plays in 'exploring/learning' and 'messaging'?
Why is visual analytics important? Why should I care?
How does the job of a statistician in visual analytics look like?
Is visual analytics purely descriptive and exploratory in nature?
What does the future of visual analytics in the pharma industry will bring?
How can you implement these approaches in your day to day work?
What tools are there for beginners, people with decent programming or advanced programming skills?
What are the other places to learn more about Visual Analytics? (IEEE VIS: InfoViz, SciViz, and VAST; Flowing Data; Perceptual Edge)
What you can expect from Zaks presentation at this years PSI conference in the wednesday morning session “A picture says more than 1000 tables- interactive data review using visual analytics”

About this podcast

The podcast from statisticians for statisticians to have a bigger impact at work. This podcast is set up in association with PSI - Promoting Statistical Insight. This podcast helps you to grow your leadership skills, learn about ongoing discussions in the scientific community, build you knowledge about the health sector and be more efficient at work. This podcast helps statisticians at all levels with and without management experience. It is targeted towards the health, but lots of topics will be important for the wider data scientists community.

by Alexander Schacht and Benjamin Piske, biometricians, statisticians and leaders in the pharma industry


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