Online Program

Saturday, February 20
CS21 Maximizing Impact Sat, Feb 20, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Crystal II

Acumen: A Critical Skill for All Statisticians (303139)

*Sally C. Morton, University of Pittsburgh 

Keywords: acumen, career, leadership, professional development

Acumen is a facility at understanding and handling a situation. With acumen, a statistician can quickly assess circumstances, balance priorities, and take action to achieve an organization’s mission. Attaining acumen is essential if a statistician is to have maximum impact---whether in the academic, government or industry sectors---and will also enhance one’s career. In this talk, I will provide practical advice on this critical component of statistician “smarts.” Acumen may be cultivated if an individual identifies it as important, preferably early in one’s career, and seeks development opportunities. I will distinguish between the related concepts of organizational and business acumen. I will then focus on: understanding an organization internally, placing that organization in the “big picture,” and developing tools for optimizing acumen. I will discuss these issues with respect to both observed as well as latent dimensions, drawing a parallel with observed and latent variables in a statistical model. Using examples from my experience as both a scientist and leader, I will motivate the audience to learn about acumen and will provide specific ways to attain this vital skill.