Browsing the archives for the statistics tag.

Geek Fun: Superheros & Statistics

Geek Fun, Uncategorized

Wired Magazine has an amusing article about Geek superheros.  For a laugh, check it out.

The same issue of the magazine has an insightful article about statistics.  The article is called, Clive Thompson on Why We Should Learn the Language of Data.  It does a nice job of explaining how people need to understand data and statistics in order to understand claims about topics like global warming and the economic recovery.

The article reinforces a truth I learned in graduate school – statistics and data can be manipulated to prove almost any point desired.  To have truth in data and science, it is important to choose valid and reliable measures, justify the ones being used and  interpret them objectively.  If a statistical study does not explain the source of the data and any assumptions made about the data, you should interpret the results with suspicion.  Manipulated data should not outweigh other evidence and common sense.

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About Geek Coach

Overview, SIOP

Who am I?

As confessed in an earlier post, I am a geek.  I definately have that deep technical expertise thing going.  Specifically I have a PhD in Industrial/ Orgainzational Psychology (I/O Psych) from one of the top programs in the country.

Okay, I hear the crickets chirping out there – very few people outside the field have heard of I/O Psych.  Here’s the official definition from the American Psychological Association (APA) division 13, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology (www.siop.org):

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance, and work-life balance.

Unlike many areas of psychology, I/O Psych focuses on rigorous measurement and analytics – lots of multi-variate statistics, advanced modeling and science-based research.  SIOP is currently voting on whether or not to change the name of the organization.  The name is only part of the problem – the group suffers from a lack of good PR and marketing.  It is a field that could provide potentially huge benefits to improving business and individual performance.  Unfortunately the group tends to be so focused on obscure academic issues that the practicality gets lost along the way…but I digress…

With my degree, I have expertise in assessment, executive development, learning, organizational development and more.  Many I/O Psychologists do research and teaching at major universities.  I’m one of the rebel I/Os who wanted to apply my knowledge and not just think about it.

So I work inside a corporation.  I’m a Director in Human Resources with a focus on talent assessment and development which includes coaching, succession planning, leadership programs and some other stuff.  Being an I/O geek in a corporation makes me doubly suited to writing this blog.  On one hand, I have the deep technical and professional expertise in helping other people develop professional skills.  I do it every day at work.  On the other hand, I am a geek who had to adapt to the corporate world.  It wasn’t always easy – coming from an academic focused environment.

This site is in no way associated with my job – hence the anonymity.  I don’t work on this during work hours or even discuss it at work.

In most cases, I will not be officially affiliated with the companies or products I’ll discuss.  When I am affiliated, I’ll let you know.  I’m not getting royalties or freebies for my work on this blog.  Right now, I’m interested in seeing if I can help out a few geeks.  If this holds together, maybe I’ll shoot for writing a book down the road.

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