Every year, the Department of Statistics offers summer scholarships to a number of students so they can work with staff on real-world projects. Ying, right, is working on a project called Service overview, client profile and outcome evaluation for Lifeline Aotearoa Face-to-Face Counselling Services with the Department of Statistics’ Associate Professor David Scott and Christine Dong, research and clinical engagement manager, Lifeline and also an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. Ying explains:
“Lifeline New Zealand is a leading provider of dedicated community helpline services, face-to-face counselling and suicide prevention education. The project aims to investigate the client profile, the clinical effectiveness of the service and client experiences of, and satisfaction with, the face-to-face counselling service.
“In this project, my work includes three aspects: Data entry of client profiles and counselling outcomes; qualitative analysis of open-ended questions and descriptive analysis; and modelling for the quantitative variables using SAS.
“Very few research studies have been done in New Zealand to explore client profiles or find out clients’ experiences of, and satisfaction with, community face-to-face counselling services. Therefore, the study will add evidence in terms of both clinical effectiveness and client satisfaction. This study will also provide a systematic summary of the demographics and clinical characteristics of people accessing such services. It will help provide direction for strategies to improve the quality and efficiency of the service.
“I have just graduated from the University of Auckland with a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics. I got my bachelor and master degrees majoring in information management and information systems at Zhejiang University in China.
“My first contact with statistics was around 10 years ago when I was at university in China. It was an interesting but complex subject for me. After that, I did some internship work relating to data analysis. It helped me accumulate more experience about using data analysis to help inform business decisions.
“This summer, apart from participating in the project, I will spend some time expanding my knowledge of SAS – it’s a very useful tool and I want to know it better. I’m also hoping to find a full-time job in data analysis.”