What to do at the first meeting

First Consulting Session
1. Greet the client, introduce yourself, make client comfortable (pleasantries), get
information about department, advisor, contact info.
2. Find out about project’s general aims and context
3. Find out what statistical help the client wants. What have they done so far?
4. Ask what questions the client wants to answer with this experiment or study. Your
aim here is to try to frame the objectives into questions you can answer with
statistical methods.
5. Ask how they did the experiment. Make this open-ended so they can tell you the
exact steps that were followed. Your aim here is often to understand the protocol
well enough so that you can write a statistical model to correspond to the
6. Answer any questions the client has that you can. If you don't know the answer,
say so and ask to get back to the client later with an answer. If you don't know,
here are some resources:
(a) discuss it with your partner
(b) look up in textbooks, class notes, literature, web, Marcia G's library
(c) ask your faculty advisor
(d) discuss it with the rest of the class in weekly meetings.
7. If further work outside the consulting session needs to be done, make clear what
you will do and what the client will do. Repeat your understanding of the
8. You should not spend more than about 3 hours per week on your primary project.
If you think the client requires more than this, tell me.
9. If further meetings are needed, set a time, date, place. The faculty advisor does
not necessarily have to be involved in every meeting with the client.