Occ. Code 0705300

SENIOR STATISTICIAN, GRADE 18
SENIOR BIOSTATISTICIAN, GRADE 18

New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard

NATURE OF WORK

For the purpose of this standard, statistics is defined as the body of theory and methods used in the collection, classification and evaluation of numerical data. It represents a system for the collection, compilation, description, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information in numerical form.

Senior Statisticians and Senior Biostatisticians apply statistical theory and principles to the planning, execution, control, and analysis of statistical or biostatistical studies, and in providing technical assistance and advice in the application of statistical methods. The major objective of such activity is to provide management with a basis for decisions in research and administration through specific descriptive summaries and evaluations of numeric data developed through the application of statistical theory. Such activities are usually concerned with a specific program area or subject matter field, and are initiated in response to specific program needs and to various mandated activities.

Positions of Senior Statistician are found in several State agencies with the greatest number of positions in the Department of Labor. Positions of Senior Biostatistician are located in the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene.

CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA AND DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Working under general supervision with considerable independence, incumbents in these classes perform the full range of professional statistical activities when assigned recurring projects as well as special one-time studies. This entails organizing and controlling investigative studies requiring the selection of statistical techniques and the adjustment and adaptation of statistical methods to the assignments, and supervising and providing technical direction to a subordinate staff consisting of statistical, clerical, and professional positions working on these projects.

In the analysis, interpretation and presentation of numerical data which are basic functions of Senior Statisticians and Senior Biostatisticians, statistical techniques such as sampling, regression and correlation, analysis of time series, tests of hypotheses, analysis of variance are the primary analytical and inferential tools used. Incumbents may supervise a staff performing such activities, as well as formulate and plan investigations specifying the statistical techniques to be used, design samples, conduct surveys and studies, and provide technical assistance and advice to program staff and others in the application of statistical techniques and methods. The majority of the incumbent's time must be devoted to these activities which are critical to the classification of Senior Statistician and Senior Biostatistician.

Incumbents may use the services of EDP specialists and EDP equipment in their work. The use of such equipment, however, represents one of a variety of tools used by statisticians and as such is incidental to the classification of positions in these classes.

The activities and tasks performed by Senior Statistician and Senior Biostatistician are similar, the main distinction being the subject matter fields in which each works. Statisticians typically work in such fields as economics, labor, transportation, social science, agriculture, education, and operations and administration; Biostatisticians in health, medical and biological fields.

Positions involved in activities concerned primarily with supervising a clerical staff in the collection, processing and dissemination of routine numerical data on an ongoing scheduled basis following prescribed methods and procedures are classified under an appropriate title in the Clerk series, or under a title in the series most appropriate to the predominant tasks performed.

Positions of Statistician and Biostatistician assist higher level professionals in applying statistical theory and principles to the planning of statistical or biostatistical studies and to the gathering and interpretation of numeric data.

Associate Statisticians or Associate Biostatisticians direct a statistical program for a State agency or for an organizational division of a State agency. Incumbents supervise subordinate staff and perform a wide variety of activities requiring the exercise of a high degree of professional judgment in determining whether a problem is amenable to statistical inquiry; in formulating and planning the investigation; in the adaptation or application of appropriate statistical techniques; in presenting, analyzing and interpreting study results; and in periodically reviewing the work of subordinates. Associates provide technical assistance, advice and professional consultation to program and administrative staff in the application of statistical techniques and methods most appropriate to the study, and in the evaluation of results.

Positions in the Economist series apply economic theory and principles to the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of economic information. Economists utilize a variety of methods including statistical and mathematical techniques as a means of gathering and interpreting information. The use of such information by economists, however, may be only incidental to the positions whose principal interest is in the subject matter field which requires competence in economics.

Positions in the Program Research Specialist series perform staff service to management in securing and providing operating and management officials with the factual and evaluative material, and the advice needed for the effective direction of agency programs. The work of incumbents in this series is characterized by the performance of activities concerned with the planning of studies; the collection of data; the analysis, evaluation, interpretation and reporting of findings on current or proposed operating programs as well as policies and legislation related to such programs for the purpose of evaluating actual or potential effectiveness in achieving objectives; and for providing advice and consultation to management officials and others on operating programs. Program Research Specialists employ a number of standard statistical methods to compare and project quantitative data, and may consult with and receive the assistance of professional statisticians in the design of statistical and analytical methods for program research projects. The use of such statistical techniques, however, represents only one of a variety of tools used by specialists for fact-finding and analysis of data.

TYPICAL ACTIVITIES, TASKS AND ASSIGNMENTS

Although incumbents may perform all of the following tasks over a period of time, the nature of a specific assignment may call for the conduct of only a limited number of such activities.

Plans statistical projects and surveys in response to specific program or subject matter needs or problems as defined by agency management.

Conducts statistical projects and surveys for the purpose of obtaining the desired information according to plan.

Analyzes, evaluates and presents data in the form of narrative text, tables, graphs and charts.

In conjunction with other activities listed in this standard, supervises a staff of professional and statistical clerical support positions in a statistical operation on a full-time or project basis.

May provide advice and assistance to program officials, line supervisors and others concerning statistical procedures, methods and plans and in the interpretation of study results.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS

The tasks and activities of Senior Statisticians and Senior Biostatisticians require frequent oral and periodic written communications with professional and clerical staff, program managers, subject matter specialists and others for the purpose of exchanging technical information, discussing ideas, giving and receiving information on methodology, and securing the cooperation of individuals and groups participating in statistical studies. A Senior may be called on to provide advice and technical assistance on statistical procedures and plans and on the interpretation of statistical results to program managers and administrators.

Incumbents have a close working relationship with the subordinate staff in making assignments, evaluating performance, providing oral and written instructions and assistance in difficult matters. Frequent oral and occasional written communications are maintained by incumbents with the supervisor.

Written results of statistical studies, including narrative reports, summaries and evaluations of study results along with supporting graphic and tabular presentations as prescribed by plan, are prepared for review by the supervisor.

Incumbents maintain professional relationships by meeting with professional statistical associations and societies to discuss mutual problems and possible solutions, and other areas concerned with improving their knowledge of the statistical field.

NATURE OF SUPERVISION

Seniors typically supervise lower level statisticians and support statistical clerical staff. In this capacity the Senior assigns activities for projects to the subordinates, and reviews completed assignments for accuracy and for compliance with instructions. Incumbents provide the staff with oral and written instructions which provide the basis for the Senior's review of the assignment.

The Seniors are supervised by professionals at a higher grade usually an Associate Statistician or Associate Biostatistician, who provide general control by the periodic review of work, and by written and oral instructions identifying the scope and objectives of the assignment. A supervisor is usually available for guidance and assistance as needed. Technical assistance in a program or subject matter area may also be given incumbents working on specific assignments by program or subject matter specialists.

JOB REQUIREMENTS

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

One year of permanent service as a Statistician or Biostatistician.

Date: 8/76