The work of a Mathematical Statistician

At Statistics Canada, we produce and interpret a high volume of statistical information. We sample, collect, acquire, clean, correct, combine and analyze data to explain statistical information related to many aspects of Canada's economy and society. We produce statistics by conducting censuses every five years and by conducting numerous surveys, but also by exploiting data coming from a very broad range of data sources.  We develop and use innovative solutions including machine learning and big data, state-of-the-art statistical theories and leading-edge statistical methods.

Statistics Canada is currently undertaking a significant transformation.  Outcomes of this transformation will be an agency that is responsive to emerging data needs, increases the statistical literacy of Canadians and facilitates the responsible use of data for decision making.  Innovative statistical methods are now more than ever essential to our success.  A very knowledgeable, talented and diversified workforce is at the core of this transformation and Mathematical Statisticians play a key role.

Mathematical Statisticians apply, adapt and develop mathematical, statistical or survey methods to practical problems.  They explore and adopt sophisticated methods to integrate and transform alternate data sources into statistical information. Their work is crucial to Statistics Canada. The quality of data outputs and the costs of operations are heavily dependent on the methodology used.

As a mathematical statistician, your main duties will consist of designing, implementing and evaluating statistical methods related to the production of official statistics.  This could include work on surveys, work on research projects in various areas related to statistical methods, or work on new methods such as integrating data from a variety of existing sources or adopting new methods to analyze data.  Mathematical Statisticians can also be involved in projects related to the combination of classic and leading edge statistical methods, including experimentation with machine learning, artificial intelligence techniques, non-probabilistic sampling, micro simulation and modeled/synthetic data.  Mathematical Statisticians face a wide range of theoretical and practical statistical challenges!

Statistics Canada projects are normally developed through multidisciplinary project teams. Such teams can include experts from various area: subject-matter (e.g., economists, sociologists, geographers), survey operations, systems development and methodology (mathematical statisticians). This structure requires mathematical statisticians to acquire some knowledge of the client area in order to determine and meet its methodological needs.

Within a team, the Mathematical Statistician brings his or her expertise, experience and a critical, analytical mind to the area of statistical and survey methods. In the multidisciplinary project structure, he or she is primarily a service provider. The work of a Mathematical Statistician is highly diversified and requires creativity and adaptability. Individual Mathematical Statisticians usually work on several projects or activities at the same time. Each project is a new challenge; ready-made solutions in the literature can rarely be directly applied. To design and implement effective, scientifically sound methodology, a Mathematical Statistician must always maintain a good balance of skills in analytical and empirical research and operational work. The majority of Mathematical Statisticians provide methodological support services while some of them are also involved in research.

Research

Like any organization striving to be the best in its field, Statistics Canada places great emphasis on research. The organization has a long and rich tradition of research in the area of statistical methods. In particular, methodological research focuses on cutting-edge ways to produce reliable statistics at a lower cost.

Statistics Canada provides the environment and support that enable Mathematical Statisticians to deal with all types of research problems, whether they are associated with a specific project, or are more general in nature.

Mathematical Statisticians regularly conduct theoretical studies and empirical simulations to support the methodological services they provide to project teams. They also carry out research on a variety of subjects related to statistical methods, such as spatial and temporal estimation, non-sampling variance, outlier detection, benchmarking, interpolation and calendarization, longitudinal data analysis, and time series. Initially, research could make up only a small part of the duties of a mathematical statistician. However, it could become a major part of his/her duties depending on his/her experience and interests.

Results of mathematical statisticians' research projects may be presented at relevant conferences and published in technical journals. One of these is Statistics Canada's own internationally renowned journal, Survey Methodology.

To foster and promote research, Statistics Canada has established an external fellowship program. In addition, Statistics Canada is actively involved in joint research projects with universities and with statistical agencies in other countries.

Work environment

As a new employee, you will work closely with a more experienced Mathematical Statistician which will allow you to gain valuable experience that will enhance your professional skills.

Statistics Canada is committed to offering its employees a modern and flexible workplace. A great importance is placed on the well-being of employees.  We have numerous programs and facilities designed for the benefit of employees.  Health and safety, respect and fairness, flexible work arrangements, a sense of belonging and recognition and workplace wellness are at the heart of our organizational culture.