How to stay ahead in the world of data and AI systems: A new approach for developing statistical thinking

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Ekonomikum Room 4
  • Lecturer: Dr. Ana Kolar, founder of Tarastats, a statistical consultancy in Finland.
  • Website
  • Organiser: Statistiska institutionen
  • Contact person: Per Johansson
  • Föreläsning

We will have a look at the skills and attitudes of statistical thinkers and how
incredibly beneficial they are in today’s world, where innovation is prized and objective critical thinking is a must.

“Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read
and write.” – Samuel S. Wilks
 
What is Statistical Thinking? It is a conscious thought process to analyse a subject or a situation objectively. It requires understanding of the ‘logic’ behind the causal thinking in addition to a holistic perspective about an analysed area.
 
The new approach to statistical thinking thus extends previous definitions of statistical thinking
by placing the ‘causal thinking’ at the core of the thought processes and by emphasizing the
awareness of the existence of ‘missing data’ – the nature of incomplete information.
During the seminar we will look at the key statistical concepts and data thinking practices that
are used in the process of obtaining objective information. We will explore the science behind
the causal thinking and the impact that the logic of causal thinking has on our understanding of
data and information, and consequently on our decision-making.
 
A number of real world examples will be discussed, such as:
- how to recognise biased information
- what questions to ask to validate accuracy of data-based information
- why AI algorithms are often biased and unfair
 
Furthermore, we will have a look at the skills and attitudes of statistical thinkers and how
incredibly beneficial they are in today’s world, where innovation is prized and objective critical
thinking is a must.
 
 About the lecturer: Dr. Ana Kolar has a mix of industry and academia experience in the fields of economics, statistics and research. Her passion for statistics, learning and sharing led her to develop new learning approaches for developing statistical thinking skills – the leading skills for effective decisionmaking in the digital era.  She has also provided research and statistical assistance in the field of population and development in the office of the United Nations. 
 
She is an advocate of the importance to use qualitative information when designing and
analysing quantitative studies. She says: “There is no ‘universal objectivity’, only ‘conditional
objectivity’. Because conditions can be seldom entirely quantified, data analyses, if reliable,
must provide transparency about the causal (mental) models used when designing studies and
analysing data.”
 
Ana holds a PhD in Statistics, BSc in Economics and a postgraduate qualification in tertiary teaching and learning. Her PhD advisor and statistical guru is one of the greatest statisticians of today – Emeritus Professor Dr. Donald B. Rubin from Harvard University.