DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development

Start main page content

Statistical Learning Fast Track Series

The CoE-HUMAN and the MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit (DPHRU) have been running monthly webinars on different aspects of quantitative data analysis in health and social research in order to support learning and encourage methodological discussions.

This series began in June 2022 and will run until November 2022, covering basic to advanced topics, such as hypothesis testing, longitudinal data analysis, data reduction methods, and meta-analysis. The webinars have a strong focus on students and researchers from previously disadvantaged institutions and will feature presentations from some of our own researchers, as well as external colleagues representing specific areas of expertise. These sessions are chaired by Dr Lukhanyo Nyati.

Attendees have included students from South African Universities and other African countries, health researchers from across the world, and even some policymakers and other stakeholders from the CoE-HUMAN’s wide networks. The webinars have been widely advertised via the CoE-HUMAN’s mailing list, both institutions’ social media channels, and through Wits University’s website.

Spurious statistical relationships … what’s in a P-value?Have you ever been disappointed by a statistically non-significant relationship? What did you do about it? A study assessing publication bias in the social sciences showed that two-thirds of papers where the null hypothesis is true never see the light of day; they are not even written up.
To transform or not to transform… challenges with linearity in regression models?Many have experienced a situation where upon exploring the data using different plots, they notice a non-linear pattern. What is the best approach to deal with such? Is transforming the data the best approach?