What I do

I am a freelance chartered statistician based in Hampshire, UK. I provide training courses, coaching and consultancy. My expertise focuses on data visualisation and Bayesian modelling, but I value introductory data analysis teaching too, as it can make such a difference to individuals and teams.

My clients have included The Economist, the Cabinet Office, Harvard Medical School and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. I am also an honorary senior fellow at the George Institute for Global Health and a part-time lecturer on Kingston University's MSc course in Data Science.

RSS register of Chartered Statisticians
Photo of Robert wearing his old school Stan software t-shirt

Photo by Tony Hay

My first book, "Data Visualization: charts, maps and interactive graphics" was published by CRC Press and the American Statistical Society in 2019. The next is "Bayesian Meta-Analysis: a practical introduction", co-written with Professor Gian Luca di Tanna, published by CRC Press. We have started an online forum and blog, "the Bayesian Meta-Analysis Network" at bayesian-ma.net.

I am also the organiser of the Winchester Data Analysis Meetup, where everyone working with data in the local area can meet, share ideas and build a community.

I programmed the StataStan interface to Stan software for Bayesian inference.

Previous work

I started my company, BayesCamp, in 2017. Prior to that, I worked on:

  • analysis of clinical audit and hospital performance indicators at the Royal College of Physicians ('98 - '10) (statistical analysis, project management, committee work, stakeholder engagement, writing, data quality control)
  • project management, meta-analysis and statistical advice on clinical guidelines commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ('00 - '06) (writing, project management, committee work, stakeholder engagement, critical appraisal and meta-analysis)
  • health services research, clincial trials, epidemiological studies and mixed-methods research at St George's, University of London and Kingston University ('10-'17) (consulting, collaboration, writing, supervising students, teaching, bidding for research funding, speaking, learning methods and programming, building networks)

I was a member of the Royal Statistical Society's statistical computing committee and NHS England's National Advisory Group for Clinical Audit and Confidential Enquiries.

A list of publications is available via the link above.

Cover of data visualisation book

Cover art by Jill Pelto. jillpelto.com

How I do it

Most training in data analysis is not as effective as it could be. I believe that we could do a lot better by helping learners to think carefully about who their audience is, and what the audience need from the analysis, as well as communication skills. Analyses should then be tailored to fit the requirements, rather than following statistical rituals.

I use an eclectic range of statistical methods: Bayesian, frequentist, likelihood and machine learning. I think that the right tool should be used for each job. My personal philosophical standpoint, which emphasises justified eclecticism, is here.

I keep active in research and scholarship concerning: meta-analysis, statistics teaching, performance indicators, philosophy of statistics, non-parametric Bayesian updating, and statistics communication and visualisation.

Picture of Robert teaching

Photo by Jasmin Mehovic