Hands-on Numbers with Silke Hörsch

Excelya>Hands On Numbers with Silke Hörsch

As a statistician, I am used to juggling complex numbers and equations. Yet the equation of my day is as simple as that of many others: calendar + emails + calls. I lead the 25-person Statistics and Programming team at Excelya Germany. Our statisticians and programmers range from a few days of experience to 33 years.

Hands-on statistics

After working for many years in oncology, I joined a psychiatric disorders project two and a half years ago. Like the other statisticians in the department, I discuss statistical questions regarding experimental design and statistical approaches with scientific investigators and researchers. I discuss sample size, study endpoints, and statistical analysis strategies with the customer and the study teams to prepare the statistical sections of the protocol. Reporting requirements are determined in collaboration with internal and external study teams to formalize analysis plans and reporting specifications. I like to program statistical analyses by myself, continuously improving my SAS and R programming skills, and to use graphs to help interpret results. Finally, when the data is ready for read out, the analysis is run (the most exciting moment of the study!), the results are presented and added to the study publication.

Coordinating the department

In my role as department coordinator, I also help with other projects by answering questions, ensuring procedural follow-through and ensuring timelines are met. We insist upon regular meetings for the entire department so that we may share knowledge and exchange information. The most interesting questions and topics come up whenever we meet!

After working more than 20 years as a CRO statistician I am still learning new things, statistical and non-statistical, every day. I am grateful to have such a diverse team of statisticians and programmers to work with on our complex interesting tasks. As soon as the health crisis is over, I look forward to leading them all in our weekly yoga practice again!

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