Integrative Statistics

Roland B. Stark, M.Ed.
Statistician and Research Consultant

[Roland's Photo]


Since 2001 I have assisted businesses, hospitals, nonprofits, universities, attorneys, and Ph.D. students with quantitative research and program evaluations. 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 future work.

For those with an already well-defined research plan, I provide technical assistance;
for those still shaping their research design, I can guide them through the process. I help weigh factors such as

  • cost vs. comprehensiveness
  • long-term vs. short-term priorities
  • keeping things simple vs. staying accountable to complexity.

I also help clients navigate and integrate different aspects of their research:

  • 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 collection
  • data preprocessing
  • data analysis
  • interpretation of findings
  • presentation through clear, informative text and sharp, lively data graphics.

In data analysis, 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. Some studies farther from the beaten track have called for Monte Carlo simulations, combining known information with guessed-at parameters in order to produce the best estimates of a critical outcome.

Past Projects

As an independent consultant I have contributed to the following large-scale projects:

  • 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 –
    • identifying patients most at risk for hospital readmission
    • explaining the incidence of surgical errors in different care environments
    • 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

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.

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, I have served as 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; Statistician/Researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Senior Research Associate at Maguire Associates, Inc., developing innovative methods to support 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.

Résumé             LinkedIn Profile


You can contact me at
I reply to most inquiries within 48 hours. My rates are competitive and negotiable, and my systems are HIPAA-compliant.

"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
Executive Director, 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
Boston College

"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
Princeton University

"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

yellow brick road

My reputation points at the
Stack Exchange
Statistics Q & A site

Reputation Points at CrossValidated site

~ Copyright 2007-2018 by Roland B. Stark. ~