From helping companies understand consumer tastes and preferences to analyzing clinical research, statisticians are making sense of the world around us.
Here are some real life examples of jobs statisticians perform:
Chief data scientist for a presidential campaign
Use data to create demographic profiles of voters for grassroots outreach and test messages in debates, speeches and ads.
Rayid Ghani of the University of Chicago used statistical science to win votes for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Data scientist at a municipal fire department
Help fire departments and other emergency responders improve municipal services by analyzing data on incidents and modeling response times.
Cassie DeWitt of the Detroit Fire Department uses spatial statistics to reduce emergency response times.
Mathematical statistician for the U.S. Census Bureau
Work with data that determines everything from distribution of Congressional seats by state to how federal funds are allocated to local and state governments.
Chandra Erdman travels around the world to help other statisticians develop their own census surveys.
Statistician at a human rights organization
Help promote human rights by estimating the number of refugees or casualties of war in specific conflicts, such as the civil war in Syria or the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Megan Price’s strategies and methods for statistical analysis have helped advance understanding of human rights issues in Guatemala, Columbia, and Syria.
Health and Wellness
Animal health statistician
Work with other scientists to protect and increase populations of endangered species at zoos, research institutes or nonprofits.
Clinical trial statistician at a pharmaceutical company
Help evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment intervention, and determine whether a new treatment intervention has the benefits that have been proposed.
Public health statistician for a major municipal health department
Help prevent disease, prolong life, and promote health through policy and programs that are informed by statistical methods.
Data analyst at an online retailer
Build online models to predict customer shopping patterns and to create a personalized customer experience.
Data analyst Hilary Parker helps make the shopping experience better for customers of the online marketplace Etsy.
Machine learning developer for a cloud-computing company
Create computer programs to develop models to find existing patterns in data, generating billions of predictions on the fly to improve efficiency in data centers.
Data scientist for a software company
Play a critical role in developing and testing software prior to its release and in subsequent performance updates.
Shannon Cebron uses data to develop new models to revolutionize the recruitment process for employers and job seekers.
Data scientist for a leading social networking site
Use data to provide personalized experiences through content and relationship algorithms so users see what’s most relevant to their interests.
Deepak Kumar, data scientist at LinkedIn, uses predictive data to create better content for the site.
Staff engineer for an Internet search engine
Work with complex data sets to predict and optimize Internet search results, advertisements and website analytics for end users.
Environment and Science
Create methods of data collection and analysis to examine how animal and plant population growth impacts ecosystems.
Biostatistician at NASA
NASA biostatisticians help protect astronauts in space by analyzing the impact of space on the physical condition of humans and sustainability of life on other planets.
Director of analytics for a professional sports team
Use data to improve and forecast player performance and make stronger draft picks. Learn more by watching ASA’s webinar on careers in sports analytics.
Econometrician at a multinational banking and financial services firm
Use concepts from statistical science to perform economic forecasts and simulations that help banks understand their level of risk.
Industrial statistician for a global materials manufacturer
Design physical and engineering experiments and assist in quality performance.
Jen Van Mullekom is “an accidental statistician” who has found success helping DuPont create and test materials for military, agricultural and consumer applications.
Journalist and author
Explain complicated statistical or scientific data in articles for the general public.
Nate Silver brings data to everything from politics to economics and pop culture.
Teach courses to high school, undergrad and graduate students on topics like probability, inference, and multivariate analysis. Conduct research in a variety of disciplines, from climate science and biology to health care and economics.
Professor Genevera Allen of Rice University develops statistical and mathematical tools to help scientists use data in genomics and neuroimaging.