Since 2000 I have assisted businesses, nonprofit organizations,
attorneys, Ph.D. students, and university faculty with quantitative
research, program evaluations, and other statistical work. In Boston and eastern Massachusetts I meet with clients face-to-face, and I also provide services at a distance. One of my specialties is survey research -- creatively and resourcefully
finding ways to minimize bias, enhance validity, and shed light on
attitudes and opinions.
By working closely with clients, listening
carefully for their needs, I help them
refine their research
so as to
best accomplish their goals. In addition to receiving expert technical
advice and services, my clients come away with a deeper understanding
of research methods to inform their future work.
For those with an already well-defined research plan, I provide
for those still shaping their research design, I can
guide them through the process.
This might involve weighing factors such as
I also help
clients navigate and integrate different aspects of their research and
reporting. This means help in the areas of
- cost vs. comprehensiveness
- long-term vs. short-term priorities
things simple vs. staying accountable to complexity.
- design of experiments, surveys, and other studies
- development of valid and reliable measures
- power analysis (planning for the right sample size and desired precision)
- innovative sampling and weighting methods
- selection and most efficient use of software
- data analysis
- interpretation of findings
- presentation through clear, informative text and sharp, lively data graphics.
data analysis, I have no "standard" set of techniques; I draw from a wide
variety of methods in order to build insight into a topic. (See
Sample Research Questions.)
Many past projects have been served by developing statistical models to
explain or predict key outcomes or to narrow down the likely range of
results. For these projects I have often used
multiple linear regression, binary or multinomial logistic regression, or factor or cluster analysis. For some studies the best option has been to create a
Monte Carlo simulation, combining known information with guessed-at
parameters in order to produce the best estimates of a critical outcome.
As an independent consultant I have contributed to the following large-scale projects:
On a smaller scale, I have helped attorneys prepare rebuttal of expert
testimony; conducted analysis for a book on developmental psychology;
evaluated trainings in information technology for social workers; and
contributed to work in linguistics and archaeology.
- Education –
- tying university enrollment patterns to student characteristics and financial aid outlays
- tracking the qualifications of special education personnel in private schools statewide
- assessing the links between staff retention and salaries
- comparing student achievement in charter schools and conventional public schools
- Health Care –
- explaining the incidence of surgical errors in different types of hospitals
- understanding bullying among nurses and its implications for staff turnover
- Business –
- surveying a national audience to demarcate the US market for staff training
- devising a sampling plan to reduce corporate auditing expenses
- Law –
- researching gender equity in the professional status of 44,000 Massachusetts attorneys
Project Details provides in-depth descriptions of some past projects.
I have a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.Ed. from
Boston College in
Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation. I have published about 25 papers on research methods, special education, hospital patient outcomes, and other topics. I am a member of the
American Statistical Association and a past member of the
American Educational Research Association,
for which I have reviewed research proposals. I also peer-review manuscripts for the
Journal of College Student Retention.
In addition to freelance consulting, since 2012 I have been Senior Research Analyst and then Chief Research Officer at ReInforced Care, Inc., helping hospitals to understand patient experiences post-discharge and to achieve better health outcomes. I spent four years as a Statistician/Researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and five years as Senior Research Associate at Maguire Associates, Inc., supporting universities' enrollment and outreach efforts. I am an expert user of IBM SPSS software and proficient in
the open-source R program for statistical computing.
You can contact me at Roland@IntegrativeStatistics.com.
I reply to most inquiries within 24 hours. My rates are competitive and negotiable.
~ Copyright 2007-2017 by Roland B. Stark. ~
"Your advice and expertise have been very valuable to us... The data that you have compiled, analyzed and explained
in the reports has made a huge difference in our efforts to make the state regulators responsive to the staffing problems in our schools....You did an outstanding job on the survey report. Your expertise has really raised the survey findings to a much higher level of sophistication. I really appreciate your work!"
James V. Major
Massachusetts Association of 766 Approved Private Schools
"He has proven to be quite competent, smart, and professional, and
his work has been terrific. So thank you for your kind assistance in helping me find Roland.
I am extremely grateful."
Karen Rosen, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
"Roland was able to really listen to what we wanted and worked with us to achieve that goal -- often within unrealistic time frames. He had a wonderful ability to explain the numbers and results so that a non-statistician both could understand AND be able to convey the numbers and results to others with clarity. Roland is smart, thorough, patient and displays a sense of humor at just the right times."
Laura M. Unflat, Attorney
"Thanks for these analyses. I'm looking through them and learning a great deal.
I think you could have some very meaningful and important results here. There were some real surprises."
Nathan Arrington, Ph.D.
Professor of Archaeology
"Roland's vast expertise in statistics and ease in manipulating SPSS have made
this process manageable and at times, even fun. He has been consistently enthusiastic, endlessly patient,
and always able to make complex statistical concepts understandable to a student with
limited mathematical background. His teaching style is highly interactive and engaging.
I have learned a great deal from Roland."
Shellie Simons, Ph.D.
Professor of Nursing
University of Massachusetts at Lowell
Visit my instructional/enrichment site at
My reputation points at the
Statistics Q & A site