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Rob Hyndman is a Professor of Statistics at Monash University, Australia. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Forecasting and author of over 100 research papers in statistical science. He also maintains an active consulting practice, assisting hundreds of companies and organizations. His recent consulting work has involved forecasting electricity demand, tourism demand, the Australian government health budget and case volume at a US call centre. Rob J is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 40 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Statistical Consulting with Zombal

02.18.2013
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This is a guest post by Bene­dict Noel of Zom­bal. Many sta­tis­ti­cians do a lit­tle bit of con­sult­ing in addi­tion to their main job, and Zom­bal pro­vides a way for peo­ple to find such work.

Zom­bal: con­nect­ing free­lancers with projects

Zom­bal is an online mar­ket­place for free­lance work in the maths and sci­ences. Employ­ers (aka “launch­ers” on Zom­bal) can post project list­ings for free, and can­di­dates (aka ‘catch­ers’) bid to ful­fil projects if they have the appro­pri­ate skill set. Can­di­dates can also pop­u­late their pro­files with their skills and expe­ri­ence and employ­ers can browse and approach pre­ferred can­di­dates. If the launcher wants to engage a can­di­date, based on resume and/​or fur­ther com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the next step is to pur­chase cred­its which are locked to the job guar­an­tee­ing that the work is paid for upon suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion (with some room for medi­a­tion in the case of dispute).

Although the site is still in its infancy, so far the most suc­cess­ful type of work has been related to sta­tis­tics and applied math­e­mat­ics. The major­ity of sta­tis­ti­cal work that has been posted is from small com­pa­nies who don’t have the bud­get to employ a per­ma­nent sta­tis­ti­cian. Sta­tis­ti­cal work that’s been suc­cess­fully ful­filled via Zom­bal include the cre­ation of sta­tis­ti­cal mod­els and sur­vey ques­tion­naires as well as analy­sis of data using pack­ages like SPSS or lan­guages like R. Sta­tis­ti­cal work has been car­ried out for a vari­ety of sec­tors rang­ing from med­i­cine to finance. A cou­ple of exam­ples of sta­tis­ti­cal projects com­pleted through Zom­bal in these sec­tors include deter­min­ing the risk of early-​​onset basal cell car­ci­no­mas based upon sta­tis­ti­cal data and regres­sion analy­sis of data from stock and FOREX markets.

Next — con­nect­ing free­lancers with not-​​for-​​profits

Cur­rently we’re look­ing at ways we can start con­nect­ing sta­tis­ti­cians with not-​​for-​​profit organ­i­sa­tions, many of whom des­per­ately need to improve their sta­tis­ti­cal prac­tices and method­olo­gies. We see this as a win-​​win sit­u­a­tion for both the sta­tis­ti­cian and the not-​​for-​​profit: Sta­tis­ti­cians get real world job expe­ri­ence and also a good refer­ral on their resume, while the not-​​for-​​profit receives much needed assis­tance pro-​​rata or at a reduced rate. We began our first trial last week with African not-​​for-​​profit Young Africa Live, and fol­low­ing this pilot, we hope to organ­i­cally grow the num­ber of not-​​for-​​profits that utilise our service.

We’re look­ing to reg­is­ter more sta­tis­ti­cians who are inter­ested in tak­ing on small con­tract posi­tions or poten­tially work for Not-​​For-​​Profits. And, of course not-​​for-​​profits can hire a sta­tis­ti­cian.

Published at DZone with permission of Rob J Hyndman, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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